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One Mother Of A Morning

Hoping to sleep in, our columnist wakes to a well-meaning bowl of Cheerios from her son at 6:30 AM--and it turns out he used up all the milk.

If you’re a mother, I hope you had a chance to enjoy a wonderful Mother’s Day yesterday.

I had a beautiful day with my family, although it got off to an earlier-than-usual start:

While my husband was in the shower at 6:30 a.m., I was greeted (a.k.a. woken up) by our 9-year-old son. 

“Happy Mother’s Day, Mom,” he announced, handing me a plastic tray carrying a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios, a banana and a lovely card. I read the note with one eye open, hoping I’d be able to put the tray on the bedside table and enjoy the breakfast after another hour of sleep. However, his expression begged me to eat it in front of him.

Oh, how could I not? He’d even remembered to bring a spoon and a napkin. I ate the entire bowl of cereal (and it wasn’t a small bowl) while he watched my expression.

“Oh! These Cheerios are delicious. Thank you so much!” I said.

“I used the new box,” he said proudly.

“I can tell,” I said, stealing a glance at the clock. “They’re very fresh.”

If I can fall back to sleep in the next five minutes, I’ll get in a full half-hour before we meet my parents for brunch.

I peeled the banana and broke off half for my son.

“No, no,” he said. “It’s all for you.”

“That’s so nice,” I said, already full. I made a mental note to teach him how to operate the automatic coffeemaker asap.

After my breakfast in bed, I thanked him with hugs and kisses. He left me to fall back to blissful sleep. Ahhhhh…..

Five minutes later, he was back at my side.

“Mom?” he whispered.

“Yes?” I said into my pillow.

“I’ve got a little problem,” he said.

“Oh, buddy,” I said, sitting up. “You okay?”

“Well. I sorta used all the milk for your Cheerios.”

Sigh.

I had to laugh, because the scene brought back memories of my friend Mary telling me how her kids woke her up from a Mother's Day nap last year to ask her what she'd like for Mother's Day. Her response was, "To go back to sleep!"

I've been a mother for 14.5 years now, and it's a role I play with a different perspective nearly every day -- often every hour. Long ago, I assumed I'd have motherhood figured out by now, but after this much time, I've come to see I'll never be perfect...which reminds me of one more mothering story.

My oldest son's friend often comes to our house before school every morning. Since I'm not an early riser, the friend usually sits at the kitchen counter watching my son eat whatever breakfast he's able to find and make for himself: frozen waffles, leftover fried rice, or Cheerios (if the milk's not already gone). I'm usually fumbling around making coffee and trying to wake up, but I always ask the friend if I can get him anything. His frequent and always polite response is, "No thanks. I ate at home."

As has become habit, I ask what he had for breakfast, something I wish I'd never done in the first place.

"My mom made us bacon and waffles this morning."

or

"French toast and bacon."

or

"Today we had bacon and banana bread."

"Her homemade banana bread?" my son asks. "I've had it, Mom. She baked some after school one day."

"No," the friend says, "I think that was actually the cake."

"Oh, dude, you're right. That WAS the cake. Your mom makes the best stuff."

"She just likes to cook," the friend says, shrugging his shoulders.

I wanted to scream And I just like to sleep!

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