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A Mother of a Weekend
I know I bake good cupcakes. I am not always certain that I am a good mother. Is anyone certain?
Eve Crawford Peyton
Mother’s Day is not a real holiday to me in any major way. I’ve never been particularly sentimental about it; my mom and I are and always have been extremely close, so it’s not like I need one special day set aside to cherish her or let her know she’s special. I hope that I have the same sort of attitude toward my own kids as they get older – and they toward me.
I am glad I don’t attach much importance to the holiday itself because my coming weekend is too consumed with actually being a mom to spend much time celebrating it. I do hope that one day, in the distant future, I will use Mother’s Day as an excuse to get a massage or a mani-pedi or something relaxing, something quiet. But right now, I’m in the thick of it, and Ruby’s school fair is this weekend, so my plans include:
• Baking a huge batch of Oreo cupcakes for the Sweet Shoppe booth
• Coordinating the class auction basket (because I somehow forgot I have two kids, a full-time job and a variety of freelance projects and decided I would be a huge failure at life if I didn’t sign up to be the room parent, too)
• Attending the fair with both girls, who are very different ages and will want to do very different things (Ruby: play every game, get frustrated, console herself with an Oreo cupcake from the Sweet Shoppe booth that I will pay $1 for even though I made it, and then basically live in the bounce house for the rest of the afternoon) (Georgia: climb every staircase, attempt to eat sand, grab various items from other people and scream, “Mine mine mine!”)
• Volunteering for three hours at the school merchandise table
• Helping to coordinate a tea for my mother, mother-in-law, and both of my daughters
• All of the other butt-wiping, laundry-folding, question-answering, tantrum-soothing duties inherent to motherhood generally
It isn’t the most relaxing agenda, no, but being a mom, being involved, has given me a sense of purpose and belonging that I have never felt before. I sometimes wonder when exactly my focus shifted so entirely over to All Motherhood All the Time, when I started thinking things like, “Those tri-colored Mardi Gras cupcakes with cinnamon frosting and King Cake babies on top that I made for the last bake sale were a huge hit; how can I top that next time?”
But I don’t regret any of it; I’m not ashamed of it; I don’t feel like getting really excited about cupcakes means my master’s degree is being squandered. It means I have one more thing in my life to get excited about.
I know I bake good cupcakes. I am not always certain that I am a good mother. Is anyone certain? Does anyone know for sure they’re doing a good job at parenting? I don’t know.
But yesterday, taking an evening walk through the neighborhood, one hand on the stroller, pushing Georgia, the other hand holding Ruby’s as we crossed the street, I felt Ruby squeeze my hand.
“You’re the best mom ever in the whole wide world,” she told me, unprompted. Then she paused, ever accurate. “Well, actually, to be honest, there might be other moms somewhere in history or somewhere in the world who are better than you. I don’t really know for sure that you’re the best mom ever in the whole wide world.” Another pause. “But I am pretty sure you are.”
I’ll take it, kid. That’s the best Mother’s Day present anyone could ask for.