I had a craptastic Mother’s Day. Not because my husband didn’t buy me anything or my kids were climbing off the walls or the house was a mess. I spent the day (and the two following) in the hospital with gastritis due to an adverse reaction I had to pain medication. Nothing says Happy Mother’s Day like an endoscopy.
My husband, bless his heart, took my three daughters to my favorite store earlier that week to find the perfect gift, because you know if you can’t find me something I love at Tarjay, you don’t know me at all.
Unfortunately, in the whirl of holding my bed pan to catch projectile vomit, transporting our kids to and from their activities, and trying to keep his job, somebody forgot to actually give me the special gifts.
A few days later I returned from the hospital, feeling weak but ready to get back to the world of the living, or at least those not on a liquid diet. I noticed a Target bag sitting in our laundry room sink, but figured it was one of my kids’ dirty practice clothes. Because my mom is staying with us during my recovery, and had generously offered to do our laundry in my time of need, of course I left it there unchecked. If I looked and didn’t do anything with whatever disgustingness lie in there, then I’d really be a jerk.
What I did find later that night when I decided it was time to start eating again was a stash of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. Three cardboard containers of Vermont’s finest just calling out to me from the freezer in the garage. The pint of Half-Baked seemed to shout “eat me” the loudest, so my spoon and I nestled deep into my lazy-boy for some quality time.
A few days later, I saw the bag out of the corner of my eye again, this time with the gray slipper sticking its nose out of it. Of course I let it sit there again, thinking maybe my mom had bought something that needed to be returned.
Then one day, my mom finally yelled said to me, “Will you please take your freaking Mother’s Day present upstairs?”
And so I did. I unwrapped the bag to find pair of fancy pajamas and a sweet pair of coordinating slippers. As opposed to my normal boudoir attire of stained yoga pants and a t-shirt that usually has a hole in it, this was an outfit I could proudly wear to the mailbox and not get heckled by the neighbors.
Now, one would think that being in the hospital would be the perfect time to give me those pajamas, right? Not so much.
It was only later that night when he saw me modeling them as I was brushing my teeth that he remembered. I thinks his exact words were, “Oh yeah, whoops!”
To rub his nose in my gifting superiority, I asked if there was anything he wanted for Father’s Day.
“No, but you can leave my gift in the sink and then eat whatever else you get me that’s left in the freezer.”
That’s when I found out that he let each of my daughters pick out a Ben & Jerry’s flavor for me. And while I was a little bitter to find out he plowed through the entire carton of Stephen Colbert’s Americone Dream, I decided to forgive him, but only because there was some Boom Chocolatta left over.
Truth be told, my husband gets a pass on this one. I’ve been sick for the past three months and he takes care of me, my kids and our home without a complaint. He stays up late every night catching up on work he missed because he left early to take my daughter to horseback, soccer try outs, a birthday party, haircuts or whatever else they need that I used to take care of regularly. The pajamas were a present, but the real gift is his love and commitment, about the only things you can’t get at Super Target.
Although I did find some great gifts that I plan on having the kids present him on Father’s Day, I think the real win is I am forever indebted to him. When a man takes care of you for three months, I mean really honoring that in sickness and in health part, you can’t really needle him for forgetting some of the details. Plus he can never un-see some of the things I’ve gone through the past few months and he still wants to share a bed with me.
That means he leaves the toilet seat up…..I’ma gonna let it go. Wants to watch a marathon of Ultimate Fighting Ridiculousness? Letting it go. Leaves his wine glass in the sink every night even though the entire kitchen is clean and the dishwasher is four inches away? I’m going to take several deep breaths, and it’s gone.
But eat my ice cream again…dude, then it’s on like Donkey Kong. Even love has its limits.
Happy Father’s Day to my number one, and to all those men out there taking care of kids. It’s an important job you have!