You can pick the draft, but not your mother
“You remember what this weekend is, don’t you?” I cooed softly in husband-head’s ear as he sat on the couch.”Of course I do, honey,” he whispered back. “And it means a lot to me.”I wasn’t prepared for him to be so sentimental.”Really?” I asked with surprise. “Wow, I didn’t realize you cared that much. That’s so sweet.””Well,” he shrugged. “It was great that you agreed to let me have the computer all day on Saturday while I run my NFL draft picks …”That was SO not the answer I was expecting, and I moved far away from him to another chair across the room.”WHAT?” husband-head demanded to know, utterly confused. “What were you talking about? It’s not our anniversary, it’s not your birthday and it’s not Valentine’s Day! For the love of Pete, what holiday am I in trouble for now?”I sat and silently sulked.”It’s Mother’s Day on Sunday,” I finally mumbled.Husband-head threw up his hands.”You’re not a mother,” he reasoned. “You didn’t even like dolls as a child. Why are you getting so worked up about Mother’s Day?””I am TOO a mother!” I protested. “Who do you think feeds you and the pets, picks up after you, washes your clothes, tidies up your house and reminds you to clean out your ears and change your undies?”Husband-head looked sheepish.”My mother never told me to clean out my ears,” he confessed.”Your mother probably never applauded the weird noises you make with your hand under your armpit or thought flatulence was funny, either,” I retorted.Husband-head thought about it for a moment.”So what do you want me to do for Mother’s Day?” he asked. “I could make you one of those plaster prints of my hand, or a crayon drawing that you could tape up on the fridge … “Not what I had in mind.”OR … ” he suggested with excitement. “I could put my head on the Xerox machine at work and make a copy of my face.””Close your eyes or the light will blind you,” I sighed. “Because I am not going to be your seeing-eye dog as well.”Alright, so I’m not – technically – a mother. I haven’t given birth to anything, and the only things I’ve adopted are stray cats and dogs. But what exactly defines mothering?As far as I’m concerned, I clean up poo-poo, I deal with upset stomachs and their contents, I nurture when someone is asking for hugs or petting, I scold at bad behavior, I praise proudly at an accomplishment … On the other hand, my best friend, Marianne, is a real mother. Three times. And although I know she loves it, she has her good days and her bad days.”I don’t know whose idea THIS was, but I quit,” she announced to me on a particularly bad day. “I’m tired of being the mommy.””Ummm … you tried out for the part and you got it,” I said matter-of-factly. “I think you’re stuck with the show now.”But I understood. I don’t think being a mother is easy. I remember the time I totalled my parents’ car right after I got my driver’s license; the time I changed the grade on my report card from “D” to “B” and got busted for it; the Halloween that I brought two kittens home in my bag instead of candy; and all the times I hit them up for money and moved in and out of the house.”You just don’t know what you’re missing,” my mother has often lamented at my lack of desire to reproduce. “It’s the biggest joy you’ll ever have.”Yeah, but she probably wouldn’t have said that 20 years ago…Nevertheless, moms are cool because they love you no matter how much you screw up.”So, do you want to send flowers to our mothers this weekend?” I asked husband-head. “Or are you going to make the armpit noise over the phone again like you did last year?”Husband-head looked a little insulted that I didn’t approve of his special talent.”No, I have something very special planned for my mom this year,” he said. “I think she’s really going to like it.”His eyes shone with pride.”I’m going to let my mom make one of my NFL draft picks.”Heidi Rice is a Rifle correspondent for the Post Independent. Her column runs every Friday. Visit her Web site at http://www.heidirice.com.
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