It began like Mother's Day usually begins at my house. I awake in the wee hours and decide I just can't ignore the call of Nature. I take care of business with my eyes half closed and try not to gain full consciousness lest I lose a rare and glorious opportunity to sleep in. As I hurry back to my warm spot in the bed, I find that my boy-child, who joined us sometime in the night, has rolled into MY warm spot and Dear Husband is still sleeping soundly on the other side of him. I shove the boy over and reclaim my spot and blissfully doze back to sleep, waking much later to the thump, thump, thump of little boy and little girl feet running down the hallway. Next time I awaken, Dear Husband is no longer in bed, but I refuse to look at the time and manage to doze off again. Thump, thump, thump down the hall again followed by SLAM as my bedroom door flies shut. Loudly. That's my kids' way of making sure they don't wake me up with too much noise outside my bedroom. I haven't yet figured out how they think they can keep from waking me up by slamming the door so loudly.
I look at the clock and sigh. Time to get up. Minutes later I'm preening in front of the mirror in my bathroom when I hear the bedroom door open slooooooowly and carefully and little whispering voices say, "Hey! She's not in here!" Dear Husband is standing in the bedroom holding my "breakfast in bed" when they find me already up in the bathroom. Bacon and eggs. I would eat them in bed if I were still in bed. Instead, I tell Husband I'll be out to eat them in a couple minutes.
Thump, thump, thump, again in the hallway headed towards the kitchen followed by a little boy voice shrieking, "Whew! Look at all the smoke in the air! I can't even see in here! I need some goggles!" Thump, thump, thump back down the hallway the other direction. In the mirror, I see a little blond head peek around the corner behind me. The little blond head is wearing swim goggles and grinning from ear to ear. "Mom! It's so smokey out there that you gotta wear goggles to see!" His dimples are popping out everywhere in all his giggly excitement. He doesn't wait for my reply. Thump, thump, thump towards the kitchen. I hear his voice across the house, "Dad! I gotta wear goggles to see in here!" Thump, thump, thump back down the hallway. Boy-child with dimples still popping out under his swim goggles stands behind me, and waits. I see him in the reflection of the mirror watching me. "Mom, are you gonna come out here? Because if you do, you really need some goggles to see!" Off he goes again, thump, thump, thump back towards the kitchen. "Are the windows open in the living room?" I call after him. Pause. "No!" the boy-child responds. "Ask Daddy to help you open them to help the smoke clear." A moment later I also hear the whoosh of the attic fan being turned on.
"Daddy is cooking," my girl-child says matter-of-factly. as she plops down on my bed to watch me finish preening my hair. That's what we always say when the house fills with smoke: Daddy is cooking. And it's usually the correct explanation.
A few minutes later, thump, thump, thump boy-child comes back to my bedroom. "Are you gonna come out here yet?"
I ask, "Has the air cleared yet?" This time I follow his thump, thump, thump down the hall
My two rapidly growing not-so-wee ones hover over me, watching me eat my cold bacon and egg breakfast, eagerly waiting for me to open the presents they have for me. It's the best cold bacon and eggs breakfast ever. I sip my re-heated coffee as two little faces excitedly watch me unwrap the beautiful collection of homemade sun catchers. My warmed heart makes up for the cold breakfast now hitting my stomach. I'd have no Mother's Day at all without my little ones. As I pull them close to me, my heart beats loudly with gratefulness in my chest, thump, thump, thump.