Mother’s Day has never before created such a range of emotions for me. But this one hit hard and, I wish I could say fast, but unfortunately, it hit…repeatedly.
I actually met my parents on Wednesday for dinner, and that’s when it all started. The cutest little girl stumbled by our table and started smiling and flirting with us. So we waved, and after her big brother had scooped her up and away, my mom dropped the bomb: “I want grandkids.”
She wasn’t trying to hurt my feelings, but it stung all the same. Growing up I had a plan: get married around 26 and have a baby at 28. As I reach the end of my 28th year, neither has happened. And most days I’m ok with that. I’ve accomplished so many other things that I may not have gotten to do if I’d followed my plan: earned my Masters, nice career, and I even managed to squeeze in some traveling.
Friday night I went out to dinner with Kiefer Sutherland, Radley, and Radley’s little friend. The waitress knew me, knew that neither one of those adorable little boys at the table were mine, and yet she still wished me a Happy Mother’s Day. For dessert, we grabbed some Rita’s Italian Ice and again I wished a Happy Mother’s Day.
Saturday I was at the grocery store with Kiefer and Radley, and the guy behind the fish counter wished me a Happy Mother’s Day as well. Innocent mistake. So I smiled back at him. What can you do really?
Fish Guy: “Happy Mother’s Day!”
Me: “Thanks, but I’m not a mother. This isn’t my kid.”
Then Fish Guy either assumes I’ve kidnapped poor Radley or he feels awkward, and then I feel bad for making Fish Guy feel awkward. And then maybe Fish Guy is afraid to wish the next person he sees who really is a mother a happy Mother’s Day. It’s a horrible, vicious cycle.
Meanwhile Kiefer Sutherland knows the position I’m in, knows I don’t want to be rude, and he finds it a bit humorous. And I know I’m amusing when I’m frustrated. I’d probably laugh, too. But still in the middle of the grocery store, I just want to grab him by the shoulders and shake him: “My biological clock is ticking! Let’s get a move on! In fact, put the candy ring pop on my finger, and then let’s disappear into the stock room and get started right now on top of the marshmallow bags!”
Alas, I refrain.
Finally, Mother’s Day actually arrives. Dare I venture out without carrying a huge sign that reads “No, I’m not anyone’s mother.”
But suddenly on this day of all days, my luck has changed. The well wishes I endured all weekend are suddenly erased. First, I ran to the grocery store to pick up the ingredients for margarita cupcakes, and amazingly, I make it out with no one wishing me a Happy Mother’s Day.
Dare I press my luck? I decided to swing by Roy Rogers for breakfast food, and as I pull up to the drive-thru window, the boy working utters the words that erase all of my crankiness:
You’re not a mother, are you? You don’t look old enough to have kids.
I don’t look old enough to have kids. I know I look plenty old enough to have kids, but still…Best words ever. Then he continues:
Well, maybe next year I’ll wish you a Happy Mother’s Day.
Happy belated Mother’s Day to all you mothers out there! Maybe next year or the year after or the year after that I’ll be joining your ranks.