Trees have leaves again, new growth is happening in the forest and the fiddle-ferns are sprouting. Joking with my wife about Mother’s Day being “her day” to do whatever she wants, she wanted to get outside and enjoy a perfect spring day in Minnesota.
We ventured out of town, brought a picnic lunch and even grabbed take-out for dinner, all of our of us together all day. But you know what I think the most enjoyable time for my wife may have been?
The extra 45 minutes she spent sleeping in, without having to make breakfast or answer demands. You see, my two-year-old daughter wakes up by 6 a.m. sharp every day calling out in a pitch that is a notch underneath screaming, “Mommy. Mommy, where are you. Time to get out.” Repeat ad nauseam until she is taken out of her crib.
Part of my Mother’s Day gifts (from the kids of course) was the promise to get up with the two of them. I closed our bedroom door behind me, distracted the kids and made them breakfast so she could get a little extra time in. And she even thanked me for it again that evening. Sure, everything else was nice about the day, and we even gave her a few other gifts, but the fact that she thanked me again for it says enough.
It’s the little things. Making breakfast for the kids, clearing the table, taking out the garbage or being the first to respond to one of the kids’ needs that can be some of the best gifts. The monotonous, necessary daily tasks.
You know as a dad we can tend to get second pick, especially when our kids are young. There’s an Amy Schumer Saturday Night Live spoof where the mom recaps the day her son was born, and one of the lines has her son of maybe six or seven years old say he had an accident in bed overnight.
The mother character played by Amy says that’s okay, I’m sure you’re dad cleaned it up. The son responds, “no, I wanted you to do it.”
There is so much truth to this. Maybe it’s the kids’ asking for help with their shoes. Maybe they fell down and hurt themselves. Maybe they want seconds. Whatever it may be, if my wife is around, they seem to prefer her.
And between you and me, it’s easy to just sit back and say okay. Okay, your mom can help you with breakfast, the cut, seconds or whatever. But the truth is is they don’t get to make that call. I do. You do.
You could keep giving Mother’s Day presents throughout the year by stepping up. At least occasionally. Start with breakfast once a week.