On the day after Mother's Day, my son woke up too early. He stealthily entered in my room and plucked open my eyeballs. I played dead, trying to remember how cute he was only hours before when he declared "Happy Day Mothers!" to me as we were getting ready for bed.
But that memory couldn't save me through intense negotiations. I persuaded him to go back to bed, and his retort was that the sun was up — so why wasn't I? The situation declined rapidly when I suggested we snuggle back to sleep together and ended with a tugging of my limp arms and a loud, "COME ON NOW MOOOOM!"
So much for Mother's Day, the one morning a year when mothers exercise their right to sleep in and breakfast in bed is a given. It only carries us so far, not long enough to fight a Mother's Day hangover the next Monday morning.
I got up with my son and made him a meager breakfast of cold cereal and sliced strawberries. When he refused my offering I gave him the same answer I always do: Then you will have to starve.
Of course, he didn't starve. Instead he used the dinning room chair to hoist himself up on the counter. There he gained powerful access to the cake stand where yesterday's Mother's Day treats were happily hiding out. Two peanut butter chocolate cups later, breakfast was served.
I decided to go back to bed. I was done pretending I was the mother with the shiny face and glowing eyes that the children sang about during the Mother's Day program in church. My face wasn't shiny. It was puffy. And if my eyes were glowing it was a soft pinkish/red color — the shade one incurs when sleep is cut short by the plucking of eyeballs.
As I sat in bed trying to recover from a common rude awakening, I thought about the pomp and circumstance of Mother's Day. I am relatively new to the holiday — my oldest child being 2, bordering 3. I certainly allowed myself to give into the persuasion. I wore my best dress to church, had my hair done, bought myself my own Mother's Day gifts and picked out the best potted plant offered to all the mothers at church.
Maybe I let the expectations in my imagination run just a little bit wild. With all the cards and poetry and flowers and sentiments, I started to believe the hype. Being a mother is so special that I should be demanding more obedience to my every word, knees bowing in my presence and mornings of sleep despite the sun's appearance.
But then I wouldn't be a mother anymore, would I?
C. Jane Kendrick writes for blog.cjanerun.com and cjaneprovo.com. She lives in Provo with her husband and two children.