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Great Expectations

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Every holiday seems to bring with it some amount of expectation. For some holidays, it’s expectation of good gifts, or the expectation of someone loving the gifts you give them. Other holidays bring the expectation that the meal will be great or that family and friends will celebrate with you.

Certain holidays, like Valentines Day and Anniversaries, bring some expectation as well as trepidation. Will your loved one remember it in the first place? If they do, will they get you something romantic, sweet, or something that makes you feel appreciated and loved?

Yesterday was Mother’s Day. To be honest, I’ve toned down my expectation of Mother’s Day, because if I expect too much, I will be greatly disappointed.

On the up side, having three children means that I get 3 homemade gifts supervised by teachers. These are always fabulous. They’re drawings or art projects which they’ve put their heart and soul into – sometimes with poems or drawings with their sentiment of what I mean to them. These are truly things I look forward to and treasure.

Another great thing is that my husband usually wants to cook for me. Breakfasts in the past have been elaborate, rich meals. This year I was a little worried about that, since I’m trying to lose a few pounds. Bless his heart, he made me a gorgeous yogurt parfait with fresh berries and granola from Whole Foods.<3

Somewhere along the way, however, the day took a few bad turns, like most holidays are apt to do. Ours was in the form of our 5-year-old being a bit of a terror. She started off really upset with the homemade French Toast her dad made. She kicked and screamed and didn’t want to eat it. Eventually, after a time out and a talk with Mom, she happily came to the table, but it waylaid us from plans we had and I had to send the 4 of them out the door while I scrambled to get ready and meet up with them.

Later, she had another – meltdown is the only word I can really use to adequately describe it. Crying, screaming, wanting Mommy, fighting with brother and sister, and clinging to me like I was leaving for another country every time I got up from the couch while we were watching Harry Potter.

Just when I’ve decided to get some workout time in, her ear starts to hurt – so much so that she needs an ice pack and Tylenol. We cuddle, and she starts to feel better, so I head out, only to find that she fell asleep after I left, and was still in pain when she woke up. She also skipped dinner. Looks like we’ll be making a trip to the pediatrician tomorrow. 😦

I didn’t really have huge expectations for the day. I knew my guy would feed me well, which he did. I expected that we’d have some good family time, which we had some. I expected that I’d get a gift or two, something that I most likely would like and use, and I did. I expected that I might feel a bit appreciated, and I did. I also expected that the kids wouldn’t be perfect all day and probably would forget it’s Mother’s Day at several points when they’d give me a hard time or not clean up or fight with each other.

What I didn’t expect was to feel like a complete heel for not using my Mommy intuition and realizing that my youngest wasn’t merely tired or being difficult, but was actually sick and in pain. What I didn’t expect was for me to feel, at the end of a day to honor me, that I was in fact a fraud and not the Mother people think I am. What I didn’t expect was to be reminded that perhaps it shouldn’t  be about them appreciating me, but me appreciating them.


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