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all content 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
Suburban Island

Mother's Day at the Beach
Monday, May. 12, 2003, 9:54 a.m.

Question: How was your Mother's Day?

What I Learned: Peace and quiet is not written into the motherhood contract.

I've been to the beach this weekend. It was what I wanted for Mother's Day. When I asked for it, I looked forward to relaxing for just a few days. I imagined:

  • carefree time - I don't have to care about what time it is or what time we get somewhere, wristwatch be gone!
  • warm family moments - this is the part where we sit around with the sound of the ocean waves in the distance and think how swell it is to be together;
  • lazy shopping trips - I get to go shopping where I want, for as long as I want, without a deadline, or whining about how far the drive is to get there, or how bad the parking is, or how much we have to hurry up;
  • hours of fun and laughter - we get to laugh at each other's hysterical antics and side-splitting stories;
  • peace and quiet - there is no noise except a few well-placed utterances of "I love you mom" or "happy Mother's Day, mom" or "you are the best mom" or (my favorite) "is there anything we can do for you on you special day, mom?".

All of this should be punctuated by the sound of the surf, seagulls careening, the taste of beach food minus the calories, and maybe cable TV as well - it's not summer yet, after all.

As we all know, things aren't always as we imagine. I got:

  • a husband who is highly troubled by the potential of any traffic tie-ups and/or parking problems and seeks to avoid them at all costs;
  • kids making and receiving cell phones calls to/from far-flung friends in the car, inside/outside restaurants, inside/outside stores, on the boardwalk, on the balcony, and even in the walkway outside the room - a kid needs some privacy after all;
  • everyone telling the funniest kid in the family to cut it out 90% of the time - probably destroying his potential to be the next Sienfeld or perhaps Jim Carey;
  • calories in everything - especially those darn funnel cakes;

  • a remote control that is immediately confiscated by the kids resulting in interesting shows flashing before my eyes never to be seen again;
  • a last minute play by the husband to abort the Sunday afternoon trip to the outlets so we could get home before traffic (no way, buddy).

I did get the ocean however - with the waves, and the seagulls, and the boardwalk, and the funnel cakes, and a big iced tea from the stand I always get it from when we go to the beach. I did get time with my kids to just hang out. I did get those Mother's Day wishes, including several "Happy Mother's day, mom" variations that were very gratifying to my motherly heart. My son won one thing at the arcades this time around - a green stuffed turtle - and on Saturday he gave that to me as my mother's day present. It matches my office perfectly and I am clearing off the top of the monitor to give that turtle a good home because it's special. It came from my son and in that moment that he gave it to me, I thought - it doesn't get much better than this.

Oh yeah, and at the end of the weekend my daughter told me, "We'll go back down to the beach, just you and me." Now that kid knows about how to make sure mom finally does get a little peace and quiet and also how to get another shot at shopping the surf shops.

I hope that all you mommies out there had a great Mother's Day. And all of you who have moms, I hope you made the day special for your mom - it means more to us that we may tell you!

DETAILS: coffee: turtle mocha + listening to: am radio & birds singing in the yard + thinking about: my own mom + observing: cloudy blue sky

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