I’ve always been a daydreamer. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been dreaming up scenarios in my mind to both amuse myself, and plan out what I’d like to happen.
When I was about 15, I went out for the first time and bought my niece and nephew (both roughly my age) Christmas gifts. Up until then, Mum had always been the one to buy them something on behalf of all of us, but I had decided I wanted to give them something of my choice. After all, I was their Aunt. Aunts are supposed to do that, right?
I’ve always loved giving gifts to people. I love it when you get it right; they open up their gift and their face lights up with excitement. And back then, I imagined that very thing happening. Beforehand, I sat on my bed actually unwrapping the gifts I had just carefully wrapped minutes before, imagining how my niece and nephew would react, before re-wrapping them. Firstly, they’d be surprised. Then excited. Then very thankful. I imagined my response – a gentle smile, a knowing look. After all, I had chosen the perfect gift, hadn’t I?
When I handed my nephew his gift, he was, as I had imagined he would be, pleasantly surprised. He broke in to a smile. “Hey thanks, Jodes,” he said. As he unwrapped his gift, I held my breath; waiting in anticipation for what I thought would follow: the excitement. Instead, on finally reaching the gift amongst the paper and ribbon, my nephew promptly burst in to laughter. “What did you buy me this for?!” he asked.
Now, that might sound like he was being quite mean and inconsiderate, and at the time - after my initial disappointment with his reaction - I thought that too. But do you know what I gave him? A 15-year-old boy? Was it a soccer ball? A 12” record maybe? No. I bought my nephew a shaving kit; complete with shaving brush. That’s something my Dad would be happy with.
Undeterred by my complete miscalculation with my daydream, I continued to (and still do) daydream certain scenarios in advance.
Take Mother’s Day for example. Here’s how I imagine it each year…
I am woken, late (because I’ve just slept in after Hubby has got up to the 3yr old), by my loving husband and three boys, to breakfast in bed. My pillows are fluffed. A breakfast tray is placed before me. A small, white vase with a single red rose adorns my place setting. There are eggs, bacon, tomatoes (just like this – do you like how I slipped that in?), but with a sprig of parsley delicately placed on top (of course). I have orange juice - served in a wine glass, no less - accompanied by the perfect cup of English Breakfast Tea. One sugar, no milk. Just the way I like it. My boys surround me on the bed, sitting quietly on their knees, their hands placed in their laps. One by one, considerately taking turns in order of their age, they present me with a gift. Each one is perfect. Hubby then presents me with a small, blue box with a white ribbon wrapped around it. Oh, my. You know what this means, don’t you? FINALLY – the bling ring I’ve been waiting for! As I open it, and discover the perfect ring, I slip it on my finger (it fits), the sparkle from the diamonds barely visible amongst my tears of joy. Everyone claps with excitement.
We attend church. My children sit quietly, their hair combed to perfection, listening intently as Father Peter delivers his homily. Later, they will ask intelligent questions regarding all that was said in mass. I will marvel at their considerate and well thought out questions.
Afterwards, my husband will insist I sit on the couch, my legs outstretched before me on the ottoman, as he firmly rubs my feet. (The boys are playing quietly in their rooms, of course.) “You don’t have to talk,” he says. “Relax. Read if you want to.” I eagerly pick up my copy of Kylie Ladd’s After The Fall – so excited that I can finally finish it and relish in it, rather than catch a chapter or two each day. Just as I finish the book, I fall asleep – completely contented now, my husband still rubbing my feet.
In case you didn’t catch it - that’s the sound of a needle being dragged across a record.
Here’s the reality: Yes. I will get breakfast in bed. That will come after I have a fitful attempt at a sleep in, trying to ignore my children’s screams coming from the family room. My children definitely will not sit still as I eat. The 3yr old will decide to use the marital bed as a trampoline, no doubt shouting, “Look at me! Look at me!” as he jumps higher and higher, moving dangerously close to the edge. My other two boys will laugh, and eventually join in. My orange juice (served in one of the cheapo, every day drinking glasses) will spill. My tea will have milk in it, and I will say to my husband, yet again, “Honey – we’ve been together 17 years. How can you not get my tea right by now?”*
We will attend mass. I will hear only about one third of Father Peter’s homily. The rest of the time I’ll be asking my boys to sit still. Stop talking. Don’t take your shoes off. No – I have no food, and even if I did, you can’t eat in church!
There will be no foot rub. There will be no afternoon nap. And we’ll probably do something, like, go furniture shopping (as we have done in the past)**. And like in the past, one or all of the boys will have a tantrum at some point. (If we’re lucky, not simultaneously.) And by the end of the day, I’ll be exhausted (and then really in need of that foot rub).
But you know what? It won’t stop me imagining what it might be like. This year could be the year my daydream comes true. And even if it doesn’t...I don’t really care.
I will get breakfast in bed. It might not be adorned with roses or wine glasses, but it's bound to be more than enjoyable. Even with the jumping on the bed. My gifts, whatever they will be, will be perfect. (In reality, I don’t actually expect a diamond ring for Mother’s Day…although; it would be nice. ;) )
My boys may not be quiet all day, but I’ll enjoy their laughter and excitement, and no doubt, become the recipient of an affectionate rugby tackle from all of them.
In fact, that’s almost as good as the original way I imagined it. Well, almost.
How about you? What are your plans for Mother’s Day?
I have one more post on motherhood coming. Look out for it in the next couple of days, and of course, Hot or Not will be here on Friday as per usual!
* Actually, Hubby mostly gets it right these days.
** In actual fact, I quite enjoyed the furniture shopping that time. When doesn’t a woman enjoy spending money?