A few weeks ago my husband asked what I wanted for Mother’s Day. Oh that’s right! I get to celebrate Mother’s Day! Even though this will be my third Mother’s Day, it still comes as somewhat of a surprise that it’s now my day too. But a day that’s all about me? Yeah, I could get used to that. So, what did I want? What did I want? Hmm, how much time do you have? I want a day at the spa, that new book I read a review of the other day, a professional house cleaning, a gourmet dinner, a David Yurman bracelet, a bottle of Cakebread Cabernet Sauvignon, a pair of Christian Louboutins…what? Am I getting carried away?
Ok, ok. Back it up girlfriend. There will always be things I WANT. But what did I NEED?
Since my second son was born 15 months ago, I have spent very little one-on-one time with my older son. My heart breaks a little every time I tell him “no, I can’t play with you; your brother needs me now.” And when he keeps asking me and I snap at him, I feel even worse. And then when he tells me “ok, I’m not gonna be your friend anymore!” my heart breaks completely in half. Now, I get that this is part of having multiple children, but nonetheless I constantly struggle with dividing my attention, and the reality now is that the super-clumsy-puts-everything-in-his-mouth toddler needs more attention than the semi-self-sufficient preschooler. So my big boy is put on the back-burner. Or at least that’s what it feels like to me. Cue MOM GUILT. When his favorite game became “Let’s make believe I’m the baby in the family” I knew I needed to do something.
That was it. The one thing I needed for Mother’s Day was an entire day with just my first-born.
So, last Friday I took a vacation day, dropped the baby off at daycare, and by 7:00am it was just my Jack and me. We played outside, took a walk, he rode his bike, we had a picnic, played with cars and trucks and helicopters, and when I collapsed on the couch completely exhausted I glanced at the clock…it was 9:27. In the morning. What the heck was I thinking?! I can’t keep up with this kid! Maybe I’ll drop him off at daycare and take a nap…
This was my special day with my son. My Mother’s Day present. So we packed up and went to Kid City. Kid City is this amazing children’s museum and if you have kids and live in Connecticut, you’ve probably already heard of it. People come from all over the state to visit this place. Oddly enough, I live about 5 minutes away and have never been there. It’s like living in New York City and never visiting the Statue of Liberty. You’re right there, you can do it any time, but you never do. (Yes, I am aware I just compared Kid City to the Statue of Liberty. It’s really that relevant in Little Kid World.)
Maybe because it was a weekday, or maybe because the weather was beautiful (and perfect for outdoor activities) we basically had the entire place to ourselves. We spent the next three hours running around, exploring, and playing. “Mom look at this!” “Hey Jacky, check this out!” “Wow this is sooo cool!”
After we left Kid City, we had a delicious lunch of vanilla ice cream with marshmallows and rainbow sprinkles, then played soccer in the backyard and ran screaming through the sprinkler. When it was all said and done, we were both dirty, hot, sticky, and exhausted. We smelled like grass, sweat and sunblock. When it was over, Jack told me it was “the best day ever.”
It was exactly what I wanted, exactly what I needed for Mother’s Day.
The next day I went back to frantically running between the two boys, once again dividing my efforts, but for that one special day, the daily obligations of life were ignored and the sole focus was that of a mother and her first true love, her first born.