On Mother's Day, David gave me a card which read, "Happy Mother's Day! I hope the day is everything you want (just keep your expectations reasonable)." This was meant sincerely. I have a long history of feeling inordinately disappointed on Mother's Day when the kids act no more grateful than usual, no more cooperative, no more helpful. I spend all day shouting, "THIS IS MY DAY TO BE HONORED!" and "NO ONE APPRECIATES ME!" which makes it very difficult, it turns out, for your audience to honor and appreciate you.
On Father's Day, David does not have the same problem, mercifully. He does not expect a parade thrown in his honor. He does not expect his children to suddenly transform into Stepford kids. He does not expect all the stops to be pulled out and a massive jubilee to ensue. He just wants to get a burger and a beer. And we can manage that. So everyone is happy.
This year, not only did we get him a burger and a beer, the kids and I made him breakfast.
"A feast!" Seconda promised. The feast consisted of french toast, scrambled eggs and sliced peaches and carrots. Not Challah French Toast with Rhubarb Compote and Mascarpone Whipped Cream and Organic, Free-Range Egg Scramble with Heirloom Tomatoes and Essence of Sassafras. Just eggs and french toast made from the generic Key-Food brand whole wheat sliced bread we bought three weeks ago and forgot about in the back of the fridge. A feast.
"Come, Daddy," Primo urged, pulling him from the kitchen where he was already preparing breakfast for the kids, as he does every morning, and leading him into the bedroom: "You just relax and read your book. Have some time to yourself."
Five minutes later, I set off the fire alarm. Turns out you shouldn't leave butter burning for five minutes on the stove top over a high flame while you clean up the milk the baby poured all over the carpet. The alarm blared in that deafening way it does, like it's trying to save someone's life or something. The baby started screaming. The kids ran in circles in a panic. I don't know how we'd ever get our act together in a real crisis.
"DAVID!" I yelled, "GET OVER HERE!"
Still, he did get a whole five minutes of Me-Time.
Later, he and I sneaked out for brunch, just the two of us, after I craftily unloaded the big kids at a drop off birthday party and left the baby, napping, with my grandmother.
As if that wasn't enough celebration, he took Primo on a Boy's Afternoon to see Man of Steel, the which they both loved with the special enthusiasm only those with a Y chromosome can muster.
It was a perfect Father's Day, he concluded, after the kids went to bed.
A wise man, that husband of mine. Maybe I'll follow his example next year and finally find satisfaction. Or maybe he'll throw me the surprise party I'm always secretly expecting, and I'll find satisfaction that way. Only time will tell.
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