May 10, 2010

Mother's Day Madness

Mama just killed a man
"Put a gun against his head
Pulled my trigger, now he's dead
Mama, life has just begun
But now I've gone and thrown it all away
Mama, ooh
Didn't mean to make you cry
If I'm not back again this time tomorrow
Carry on, carry on as if nothing really matters"

It is close to the witching hour now. I am back at the computer decompressing from my day. Today, May 9 is my birthday. I am 41 now. It seems so strange to write that. Forty one year-olds are supposed to be much older than I am, far older and maybe wiser.

But here I sit, accompanied by a dog, some music and a little nip of Bushmills Whiskey. I don't drink very often any more and most of the time not very much. Tonight really isn't an exception. After the long day I felt like a drink and so I grabbed one.

This morning I was woken up far too early. It seems that the dark haired beauty felt the need to climb into bed and snuggle with me. That is not too much to ask for and I am normally happy to oblige her. But this time she found that the only way that she could get comfortable was to smack and kick me. She wasn't trying to hurt me, but to her 5.5 year old mind I am invulnerable. 

If that was true I wouldn't have these bruises. ;) But when I opened my eyes I received a huge smile and an even bigger hug. "Happy birthday, daddy! I love you." That was a great gift, so very worth it.

And then the racing around town began. A trip to the Westside and then one back to the Valley. There were flowers and cards to be bought, meals to be eaten and mothers to be thanked. Somewhere in between I received a few nice gifts, including a very cool Keurig Coffee maker. Love that.

Came home, threw the kids in the shower, walked the dog and roamed around the house thinking about the day.

Two years ago my grandparents left a birthday greeting on my cellphone. I intentionally saved it because I knew that there was no telling how much longer they would be around. Since my grandmother passed away in March I decided to play the message today.

It was great hearing her voice, but a bit harder than I expected. I was more than a little surprised that it made me choke up for a moment. For forty years I always had at least one grandmother to celebrate with, not this time. Forty one was more than we were allotted.

I am glad for all the time that we had, it was far more than so many. Still, I am greedy enough to ask for more.

Later on we are at my parent's house. My mother hugs me and tells me that I am still among her favorite gifts- the boy that made her a mother. She grabs my face and tells me that she doesn't feel old until she says that she has a 41 year-old son. I just flash her the smile. It is the one that makes people nervous, at least those who know me. It is a mischievous grin that makes you wonder what I have done or am going to do.

Mom tries to give me that look, the one that says that I shouldn't mess with her. My smile grows and two of my sisters ask what is going on. I say nothing and they respond by telling both of my parents that I must have done something. My kids and a nephew chime in their thoughts.

I bend over and kiss mom on the cheek and walk away. As I pass by she looks at me again and I say, "Happy Mother's Day." Later on my father will take me aside and tell me that I have to stop causing so much aggravation. I laugh and tell him that my work here is through.

It may be Mother's day but it is also my birthday and it just wouldn't be the same if I didn't cause a little aggravation. My dad rolls his eyes at me and I tell him that this is good for him, helps to keep his parenting skills sharp. He tells me that he doesn't need to because his kids are grown up.

I laugh again and remind him that his father skills may not be required as they once were, but his grandfathering skills most certainly do. He glares at me and I tell him that all of his grandchildren know that he is a sucker and that because of this no one believes the stories I tell about him.

He laughs and says that payback is sweet. And with that he claps me on the shoulder and heads off to play with the kids. Moments later I hear squeals of laughter- mother's day is a pain in the ass, but that laughter goes a long way to soothing the pain.

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