This year my Mother’s Day started a little early, shortly after midnight (it was only a little after 11:50 she declared the next day). I thought the teen wandering mindlessly through the room might be sleepwalking…
“What do you want?” in case she was awake.
She might still be sleepwalking; I walked & talked in my sleep as a child.
“Why on earth do you want a sharpener, it’s past midnight!
I turn to look at her; she is frozen in a rictus of stress. No, she’s awake.
“Oh god,” I say softly to my husband. “I forgot its Mother’s Day!”
“I’ll sort it!” he says.
A few minutes pass then, “Finish in the morning!”
Obviously I can’t hear him shouting, they are in another room because it is a secret. I have to work extra hard at not hearing because teenagers do not hear parents until they reach an acceptable volume, i.e. ear-splitting.
I generally alternate between lying in bed wondering at what point I can get up without ruining their prep work, lying in bed wondering can I sneak in and out of the bathroom before I am surprised, and being woken from sleep early but at least I have enough time to get stuff done.
So this year it was blearily waking from a deep sleep with little more than an hour to celebrate and get out of the house.
Now just to fill you in; my 4 girls range in age from 23 (years not months) to 12. But they have Autism, and not the helpful OCD type autism I have, or even their father’s annoyingly fainting when over stressed but rational human ASD, they have a weird, mutant Autism/Daft hybrid condition. They all have the intelligence of Einstein, the maturity of a 4 year old & attention spans that suggests they are like those aliens from ‘Star Trek’ whose metabolisms were sped up so they moved so fast that humans can neither hear nor see them. So in common with Mums of small children I get the customary…
“I love you Mum!”
“But I love you more!”
“I love you the best, don’t I Mum, because I am your favourite.”
“No she’s not, she’s the worst!”
“Shut up! I don’t have favourites, I love you all.”
But I don’t only have children to fear on Mother’s Day.
“Put the cat down!” my husband carefully enounces each word, every one of the hundred times he repeats it.
“But the cats want to kiss their mummy for Mother’s Day!”
“No he doesn’t, that’s why he’s flailing around!”
“Put him down now!”
“I’m putting him down now!” we are expected to believe this despite every appearance to the contrary.
Then “Didn’t I just get your sister to put down that cat?”
“But he likes me better! And he wants to kiss mum, mum needs a kiss.”
“Put…” inevitably eventually he doesn’t finish the command.
“Dad, ___ made Mum’s face bleed!”
“No I didn’t, the cat did and anyway it was an accident. See!”
“Dad, ___ made the cat scratch Mum again!” well she asked for accuracy.
“Oh he’s upset, here Mum you take him”
“Don’t put” from previous experience that would have ended ‘the cat on your Mother’ but there’s not always time.
A final (for now) scream of pain as the cat exits the room using me as his highway. Fleeing cats don’t retract their claws, they use the added traction.
“Oh no, the cat got away!” they chorus.
“Do you want me to get him back,” two of them are already moving toward the door.
“No! Thank you, sweetie,” I say quickly.
“I can get another cat!”
“No!” think Lisa, think! “No I’m getting up now. I’ll kiss them all later.”
“Come on let’s let your mother get up in peace.” God I love that man.