When you’re the only child in a single-mom family, every day kind of feels like Mother’s Day.
Or, at the very least, Mother-Daughter day.
And despite all of our roller coaster history throughout the years, this past Mother’s Day was the hardest yet BEST one for me, so far.
We’ve been apart geographically during Mother’s Day before; that was only part of the hard.
~ Saturday ~
My husband Steven, my sis-in-law Sarah and I were shopping for their mum, last-minute style. My mum-in-law is pretty quiet, and I don’t know her well enough to know what she’d like — other than dolls, which she has plenty of. I thought maybe going out for frozen yogurt or something would be fun. Steve and Sarah said, “Maybe.” Mum’s also a stay-at-home kind of person as well, I knew that.
I felt kind of useless, but I tagged along to Wal-Mart, Target and Home Depot. Finally, they settled on geraniums.
I hadn’t seen them in years. Suddenly, I was flooded with memory. 4 years old, smearing geranium petals on my lips in an attempt to create “lipstick” like Cindy Bear did in The Yogi Bear movie. My mom’s favourite flower.
Suddenly, Home Depot felt very lacking in oxygen. Heat and guilt crawled over my skin, and I high-tailed it out of the store.
You’re the reason she’s so far away. You let the government remove her from the country, and now YOU’RE the one struggling to even finish a decent email to her? Pathetic. If it weren’t for you, she could still be here, enjoying this beautiful weekend.
I got lost in the parking lot. Wandering around, trying to find my car, thoughts swirling through my brain.
Like a desert victim, I stumbled to my car and guzzled the cold drink waiting for me there. My heart rate slowed, the sweltering heat laid back. My family found me, concerned. “If you really want to, we can surprise Mum and make her go out with us tomorrow. She likes frozen yogurt.”
~ Sunday ~
After church, my head was more clear. I’d fired off an email full of news and “Happy Mother’s Day!” dog pictures to my mom earlier, and I was excited to see where the afternoon would take us.
We decided on going to Surrey for lunch and some shopping. The 4 of us piled into the car, Mum greatly anticipating her poutine lunch, us 3 “kids” were eager for some adventure, and Dad calmly looking forward to having the house all to himself for an unknown number of hours.
It was a simple but glorious day. New York Fries, the Disney Store, the Lego Store, a random boutique that sold Grumpy Cat paraphernalia.
We were pretty tired by the time we got out of the mall parking lot, but we knew that the next logical step was to go pick up Dad and surprise Mum with Menchie’s, the fro-yo shop. Even Dad, with his sweet tooth, couldn’t say no to that.
So then the FIVE of us piled into the car: Steve driving, Sarah shotgunning due to often getting carsick, me & dad & mum squished in the back like sardines. It was a gong show. We drove into the setting sun, listening to The Parents bicker about everything from how to adopt a highway, to whether or not The Men were working tomorrow to could we please just stuff one of us in the trunk?
It was awkward and lovely, the first time we’ve gone somewhere as a family in the past 2 years. I checked my email every once awhile, wondering if I would hear from my own mom. I never did; I hope that means that she got up to something fun to do.
We entered Menchie’s, Steve and I having been the only ones of our family to go there before. If you’re not familiar, it’s a self-serve frozen yogurt bar that allows you to try many different flavours of gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, dairy-free but NOT taste-free fro-yo and sorbet. You can swirl two different kinds together. You can have a waffle cup. You can put fresh strawberries and gummy bears and chocolate chips on top if you want to. It’s freaking magical.
It was a little overwhelming for them at first, but they got the hang of it. And loved it. And are making lists of what they’re going to try the NEXT TIME they come back. Mum, 3 hours later: “I just can’t stop thinking about that yogurt shop!”
We closed out our day by returning to the house and visiting. I crashed on the couch for 45 minutes (hoping and praying that everyone is happy on a Family Holiday is HARD), and then we watched the season 3 finale of Once Upon a Time. Which I will not spoil anyone for but OMG. It was so heartbreaking and amazing and flail-worthy.
And now I come to…The Prank. Which Steven committed against me, out of the blue, and this is the ONLY way I can think of to pay him back right now.
So, logistically, it’s a little hard to explain because you can’t see our living room, but Mum and Dad have their couches in a broken, somewhat L shape. Sarah and I were sitting on the long couch, and Steven was stretched out across the littler one. He was holding a misting spray bottle throughout the evening, cooling his face with it as he gets easily overheated.
Around 10:30pm, I, on my side of the couch, bent over to the floor to pick up the water bottle I’d been drinking out of. At that exact moment, Steven crouched opposite me, stuck his butt in my face, and farted. REALLY loudly. (Which, if I’m honest, I’m sort of used to by now. Not the “in my face” thing, but the “farting loudly” thing. He has some allergy issues, and we hadn’t exactly abode by them today.)
And then I felt it. A mist, wafting directly from his butt-hole area, falling on my face, my open mouth and my eyes.
I started screaming and flailing.
And then I saw him, grinning like a child and holding that damned spray bottle he’d been playing with all night.
Don’t ask me how the universe aligned for him in that moment – a moment where the guns were loaded, the target was acquired and the Imma-mess-with-yo-mind prop was in place for such a beautifully disgusting event.
We laughed until we cried. And then I cried for real because for approximately 2.5 seconds, I’d been terrified that I’d contracted some sort of poop mist disease via my mouth. Sarah said it was the best thing he’d ever done. At one point, Mum had to run to the bathroom lest she pee herself. (And I’m not entirely sure she made it in time either.)
Get married, they said. It’ll be fun, they said.
But seriously, I’m just 2% more prepared to be an actual MOM someday. Thanks, man-boy.