Wheaton’s Way

Cheers to the mothers!

Last Sunday was Mother’s Day and, boy, if ever there were a time to appreciate mothers, it is now. I’m not saying fathers are sitting back, puffing on cigars and watching NFL reruns while mums try to steer their kids through calculus and Shakespeare, but there is no doubt that these women have had to take on a lot in the last couple of months.

I don’t have any children myself, but I have a lot of cats (yes, I am well aware of the many clichés) and they have proven to be quite the demanding housemates since we started working from home. From 6:30am they are crying for breakfast, then litter trays have to be emptied and, finally, our doorperson duties begin because they want to go out and then they want to come back in again; repeat. “Meow” is apparently like “aloha”, in that it means “hello” and “goodbye”. This is tough enough without having to homeschool them on the subject of the Crimean War while conjugating verbs in Spanish. Plus, at least they sleep for about 15 hours daily. The hardest it gets is giving 20-pound Butterscotch his ear medication. It’s a two-person job; let’s just leave it at that.

I do have two young nephews and a teenaged niece, so I can sweep in and be Auntie Vicki when I wish, but I can also sweep out again – that’s the key. In the meantime, my sisters-in-law, Danni and Andrea, have been having a grand old time with their respective kids, sheltering in place 24/7.

Andrea recently announced to the family that, so far, it was looking good for her, Andrea, getting an ‘A’ in her daughter’s language arts class, what with all the homeschooling. Danni said that the boys had been assigned a Mother’s Day project by their school, which, of course, she ended up having to help with all day. You gotta love the irony.

It reminded me of when my three siblings and I were children, and we thought it would be nice to cook our mother breakfast-in-bed for her special day. We went to town – there were eggs, bacon, sausage and toast on the plate, with coffee on the side. We took it in to her and she was thrilled (or she seemed to be – what else would a mother do?).

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We were so happy that we had done something lovely for her, that it didn’t occur to us that she might not want to clean up all the mess we had left in the kitchen. Pots, pans, eggshells, coffee grounds…there wasn’t an untouched surface or utensil in the place; it was like Godzilla had made her breakfast.

I don’t know how my mother survived, having four of us within six years. It’s unfathomable to me. I asked a friend of mine what she would like for Mother’s Day with such limited options available this year. “To sleep in ‘til 8am,” she answered, without hesitation.

Before the pandemic, I had my day job and an entertainment company, along with hosting events and karaoke nights. People always said to me, “How do you manage such a schedule? Where do you find the energy?”

I feel the same way about mothers. I raise a glass to you all.

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