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  From the
  Mother's Day
... scourge of the single mom
  Sharon Dunn,
National Post

It's Mother's Day, that wonderful once-a-year occasion when mothers everywhere get to be waited on by their grateful kids. My day. To just sit back, relax and do nothing, to be coddled and pampered and just plain spoiled. Last Mother's Day was a case in point. My kids had lots of suggestions for the day, ranging from a trip to the zoo to taking in a double feature.

The plan was that it would start out with the traditional breakfast in bed. At least that's what was supposed to happen. I waited in bed for sounds of someone stirring, but I got tired of waiting, so I killed time by going for a long walk. Since they still weren't up, I worked in the garden. I was starting to get hungry, but I thought I'd better wait -- I didn't want to ruin the kids' Mother's Day. I even went grocery shopping. Coming out of the store, my cellphone rang, and I finally got the call I was expecting.

"Where are you, Mom?" my youngest son complained. "I want to give you breakfast in bed." I assured him that I hadn't eaten and that I was racing home at that very moment. Once home I dove under the covers and awaited the feast.

"How do I cook an egg?" my 12-year-old yelled up the stairs.

"I'll come down and show you," I offered. I bounced out of bed and headed for the kitchen.

"Don't touch anything, Mom, just tell me what to do," he insisted, determined to do it all himself. So after five trips to the kitchen, I got my egg, toast and juice. Well, actually, the juice landed on the carpet, and the toast was a little burnt. Poor kid felt so bad, I promised him we could go straight to the park to play Frisbee.

"Yeah. This is going to be a great Mother's Day," he announced. After an hour of what I call intense physical activity, I persuaded him to head home, promising we could return later.

At home, we discovered that "the teenager" had started to move. "Happy Mother's Day," he greeted me enthusiastically. "What would you like to do today, Mom?"

"What did you have in mind?" I asked suspiciously.

"It's your day, Mom, anything you want," he assured me.

The only thing I really wanted to do was relax, but I kept my opinion to myself. The teenager saw this as his opening and suggested we go to the record store, since they were having a blowout sale. I trotted along after him, wanting him to have a good Mother's Day. After a couple of hours of searching through giant bins (looking for a record I might like), I found myself standing in a long lineup, buying a stack of CDs. These were not for me, you understand, these were for the teenager. I paid the considerable bill and was rewarded by the look of glee on the teenager's face. "Sorry you didn't find anything for yourself," he said sympathetically.

"What is wrong with this picture?" I asked the teenager as we passed a banner screaming, "Happy Mother's Day," but I could see he didn't get the irony.

"Thanks for the CDs," he told me warmly. "This is a great Mother's Day." (As if there was ever any doubt.)

"Glad you're enjoying it," I winced.

When we got home, the kids asked where I would like to go for dinner.

"How about Chinese?" I said hopefully. They groaned.

"What about a French restaurant?" I suggested. Louder groans. "Whatever you want," the teenager said, "but how about burgers?" We decided to take a vote -- majority rules. It ended up being two against one. Of course, the burger joint won. We had burgers and fries and milkshakes -- all the food I had been trying to avoid, while listening to the soothing strains of Guns N' Roses and Eminem. After a big dessert, I, of course, paid the bill, amazed that this dingy diner had the nerve to charge such prices. "It's really a happening place," my son insisted. Oh well, it's Mother's Day, I consoled myself.

When we finally got home, my little guy suggested a game of cards. "After all, Mom," he said, "it is Mother's Day." We played his favourite games and then we made that promised trip to the park for Frisbee, before it got dark and we settled in for the night.

"Did you have a nice Mother's Day?" my younger son asked as I tucked him into bed. He eyed the yellow-and-green beaded necklace I was wearing, the one he had made for me at school.

"I had a great Mother's Day," I assured him.

"I know you did, Mom," he told me. "I wish there was a Kids' Day, so I could do everything I want."

  Last update: May 6, 2009
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