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Jewish World Review May 9, 2002 / 26 Iyar, 5762

Michelle Kennedy

Michelle Kennedy
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"Shut up!" "Stop shoving!" it's Mother's Day | It's 6 a.m and I am blissfully asleep. The comforter is snuggled tightly beneath my chin and I am dreaming. Dreaming of warm breezes, tropical beaches ... really just dreaming about sleeping more.

The first scuffle does nothing to awaken me. I brush it off like a fly that has annoyingly landed on my hand. My eyes are too heavy even to notice the second bang and then the whispering.

Do they really think they are being quiet when they whisper like that? It's a loud whisper. They say things like, "Shhh. You'll wake her up," or "Don't put that there, you idiot." They're so loving to each other.

I'm still ignoring. Through the years, I have learned to sleep through the rattle and hubbub that is a Sunday morning in my house.

Cartoons in the living room, the clink of cereal bowls being chipped as they are thrown in the kitchen sink. That wonderful dialogue that can only occur between a brother and his sister as they sit on the couch watching television together: "Shut up!" "Stop shoving!" "I'm tel-ling!"

All of sudden it occurs to me. This is no ordinary Sunday morning ... it's, it's ... Mother's Day!

Mother's Day, which we all know takes at least a week to prepare for, this year is celebrated in the same week as National Teacher Appreciation Week, Nurses Week, Drinking Water Week, Small Business Week and Tourism Week. Somewhere I hope there is a mother who owns a small business teaching nurses and is going on vacation, bringing her own drinking water with her. You know what? I'll bet there is.

Anyway, I'm still in bed and outside my door there is mayhem. I am trying, ever so hard, to open my eyes. It's 6:03. Suddenly, the whispers cease and there is a timid knock at my bedroom door.

In my sweetest tone (eyes are still closed), I reply, "Yes?"

Then, like an avalanche crushing skiers down a mountain, I am overrun. In burst the children accompanied by laughter, smiles, a conglomeration called chocolate chip pancakes filled with jam and eggs, M&M's and jello jigglers on the side (these have been lovingly mixed together by hand). My coffee has been sweetened with honey and there is a dollop of sour cream on top ("Doesn't it look pretty, Mommy?").

"It's wonderful," I reply, eyes opening a little wider now. "Did you do this all by yourself?"

"No, Daddy helped."

"Oh he did, did he?" Daddy has since wilted back into the kitchen, with a smirk on his face and what I hope is a sense of impending doom for Father's Day.

As I open my presents, I am reminded again and again, in neon writing no less, that I am the "World's Greatest Mom." I must be: My new T-shirt, coffee mug, plaque and hat say so.

There is a part of me that is thinking about an ideal Mother's Day. I'm not exactly sure what that would be, but I know that a masseuse and a good bottle of wine are definitely involved.

On the other hand, as someone once said, being a parent isn't about the gratitude. Let's face it, the kids will never be grateful and they will always prefer to give you dirty laundry over a gift certificate to a spa.

But that's OK. I'm grateful. Every day I am grateful that I have four great kids who thought enough about me to mix up everything they thought I would like and bring it to me on Mother's Day. I'm grateful they remember.

Mostly though, I am grateful that someday they will have little kids who will celebrate Mother's Day just as early and enthusiastically as they do.

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JWR contributor Michelle Kennedy, who reads and responds to all of her mail, is a reporter and columnist for the Green Bay News-Chronicle. Comment by clicking here.


04/18/02: Yes, They're All Mine!
03/25/02: Thrust into a Barbie dreamland
02/01/02: Shooting the 'surplus population'
12/20/01: Zen and the Art of Clutter
12/14/01: Confessions of a serial library fine payer
12/06/01: Too good at my job, I quit

© 2001, Michelle Kennedy