Here is my idea of an ideal Mother's Day, an ideal that I attain most years, including this one:
1. I sleep as late as I want. I get to do this anyway on weekends unless there is some particular early activity scheduled, so this is not an unusual event but is something I always appreciate.
2. I spend a few hours ambling around the house and garden with cats and family on a sunny day or at least a not-stormy day.
3. I spend a few hours of quiet uninterrupted time in my office on campus.
4. I spend some time at a cafe, either alone with something to read/write or compute (and maybe edit.. but that is slightly less than ideal) or with a friend to chat or with a daughter who reads/draws/chats.
5. In the evening I have an interesting dinner at home or at a restaurant. When we dine at home, my husband typically cooks, so I don't need a break from cooking but maybe he will also do the ancillary preparation and clean-up -- my jobs -- on my Ideal Mother's Day. This dinner most certainly involves a special dessert, preferably acquired at a store or bakery because, although my husband cooks, he does not do (or even appreciate) desserts.
I don't care about flowers or cards or other gifts, although I don't mind if my daughter brings home a sad little seedling that she planted as part of a Mother's Day class project and/or a weird poem about how wonderful I am. One year she brought home a drawing of me, and that was kind of disturbing.
The quietness of my ideal M-Day may relate in part to the fact that by this time of the academic year, I am exhausted. In fact, this year I am really exhausted.
Other possible features of an ideal day, none of which has yet occurred but I can dream:
- When my husband calls his mother, I am somewhere far far away. If I am in the same house, I can hear her voice on the phone even if my husband and I are in different rooms. She is always complaining about something or worrying about something. It is like having a pneumatic drill go off near (or on) your head.
- No students email me to whine about their grades or beg for extra credit or tell me about their illnesses, medications, or vehicular woes.
- NSF gives me a grant.
- My most obnoxious colleague announces his retirement, effective immediately.
- My most stupid cat (not shown in photograph) decides that, for the first time in his life, he is on the right side of the door.
6 years ago