This past Mother’s Day was my second. However, it was my first where I got to spend it with my husband, as we were separated due to complications getting our daughter’s passport last year. While I wasn’t expecting fanfare and fireworks, I also wasn’t expecting what I got. But to quote my husband, I got a “magnanimous gesture.” Now, when you think of a devoted husband’s magnanimous gesture to the love of his life, the mother of his child, the yin to his yang, you may be thinking something sparkly, or at least highly fragrant, or possibly comes with a masseuse for the day. I was. Instead I got a proclamation from the father of my child, in celebration of this annual praising-of-mothers day, stating that he had “hosed off the dirty cloth diapers.”
He was, in fact, so pleased with himself that he sauntered around the house for the better part of 30 minutes singing operatically to a Mozart tune, “Hosing out the diapers, poo poo, pee pee pee pee pee, Quarterly we hose out the pee, poo poo, pee pee pee pee pee,” and such, laughing with great mirth. I did not join in. When I hose out the diapers, the remaining forty-plus times during the week, it honestly never occurs to me to praise myself with song. Maybe it should, he was having a blast.
To give him credit, marginal as it is, he did bring me flowers later in the day. But hearing of friends getting to have a spa-day, or breakfast in bed, or a day-all-about-them, left me feeling a little empty on the celebratory scale. Granted, they didn’t get serenaded by their betrothed, but then again, they also didn’t get a pee-pee song sung at them. I guess it’s all in how you look at it.
Two days later, however, his magnanimous gesture took root and he found himself on 100% Daddy-duty (and doody). I was out cold with the flu, fever, chills, aches, pains, moans, groans, you name it, I felt it. But, without me even having to ask (not that I was conscious enough to ask), he took the day off and played stay-at-home-dad. For the first time in fourteen months, I didn’t lift a finger for my daughter all day. Frankly I couldn’t; it was just too heavy.
As I flitted in and out of consciousness, I heard my daughter’s laughter as Daddy pretended to eat her broccoli, or heard her clapping with glee when he pretended to chase her down the hall, and I heard spontaneous songs about toast and Chuckles the kitty. When I rejoined the living later that night, I realized that for all the hilarity I had heard, I didn’t once hear the Mozart diaper ditty. “I guess I just didn’t have time,” he said. Ahh, reality, you take all the mirth out of life.
I resumed the stay-at-home role the next day, and had time to reflect on this Mother’s Day week. Granted, my actual day was not that grand or envy-inducing, but despite his lack of planning, when the need was dire my husband was there and my daughter and I were well-cared for. So, would I rather have a spa day, or a husband I can rely on and trust? I choose the latter, with the caveat that a spa-day would just be the cherry on top; oh, and no Mozart, please, I’m finding he gives me a bit of a rash.