"He broke my glasses!"
That was the scream that startled me awake at 7:20 this morning, by a child, not my own, as he burst into my bedroom.
That wasn't the first time I was woken up, abruptly, this Mother's Day. At 1:30am three boys came storming into my room, again with no knocks, all sopping wet from a very full glass of water inadvertently tipped over. That accident required a stack of towels and a batch of dry blankets to cover the spillage.
At 2, there was the gasping rasp of, "I can't breathe," coming from the edge of my bed. What I thought was an allergy attack - again, not one of my own kids - turned out to be pure anxiety. As he feared his imminent death, I talked this child down through super hero chatter mixed with deep breathing exercises. His father arrived 20 minutes later. Amazingly, most of the other kids at Jack's first ever sleepover, slept through the melee.
"He did it on purpose!" and "He's paying for a new pair!" were the second and third lines that pierced my now shattered REM cycle.
The early morning wrestle had taken a turn for the worst. Of course it was an accident. Of course it was one of those unfortunate things that just happen. Of course it was all worked out and smoothed over, by Izzy no less, but not until after this poor boy's mom was woken up on Mother's Day with a shout-filled ranting phone call.
I threw on clothes and ran downstairs with the dogs for an early morning walk. And that was my first gift - getting out of that pre-testosterone insanity. My second gift is sitting in the coffee shop across the street and writing this, while Jon went upstairs to deal.
And here I sit, hair something out of a Flock of Seagulls video, clad in old jeans and the shirt I slept in, drinking Brazilian coffee that borders on heaven, grateful that I am a mother.
Yesterday, as Jack told me repeatedly, he had the best birthday of his life. On a day that generally has at least one sobfest, he was happy from 6:20am, when he woke up to open gifts, to 12 at night when I shut down the lights. It was 10 years ago yesterday that he arrived on the planet and changed me forever.
It was a week of moments I was so grateful for my children. Looking back there was not a single fight or meltdown. From either one. I don't know that that's ever happened. I met Iz on her post play rehearsal walks home from school so we could spend extra time together. Jack and I headed to Chinatown one afternoon, on a spontaneous search for a game he wanted. We survived their first week of rigorous testing at school that they handled with maturity and relative ease.
Man do I love my children. And how I appreciate and enjoy (most of the time) watching them grow into themselves. I bask in the love they lavish on the two puppies who are now a part of our family. And I am proud of their empathy and concern for me and my brother as we go through these months of kidney confusion and unease. They are supportive and understanding and kind.
I am beyond grateful for the remarkable man I've been married to for more than half my life. Without him this amazing life I have wouldn't be. And the people who call me mom wouldn't exist.
I am grateful for my own mom, who has so much on her plate but is still here for me to call every day. She is far braver and stronger than she ever gives herself credit for.
And I am grateful beyond for the people in my life who love and nurture, who support and teach. As one of my wise yoga goddesses Ali said in class the other day - you don't have to have children to be a mother.
And so, love and blessings and heartfelt thanks to the many mothers in my life.