"I don’t know, babe. What do you want to do?"

©Stephenie Freeman

Hopefully today, on this beautiful Mother’s Day, I am doing something special to celebrate. I choose to use the word “hopefully” because as I write this, I am not so sure that will be the case.

Do my kids love me? Of course. Does my husband appreciate me as the mother to his two children? You betcha. Does that mean that they can translate their love and appreciate into a special occasion complete with pampering and presents? Not so much.

The problem is that I am too much of a planner. I just wanted to be sure that something was in the works. So instead of letting my expectations get out of control, which they tend to do, I made the mistake of asking the Golfer a simple question last week.

“What are you planning for Mother’s Day?” I innocently asked in between asking him to take out the trash and open a jar of spaghetti sauce.

Here’s how I saw it going down in my mind. I would say, “What are you planning?” and he would lovingly put his arms around me and smile. He’d tell me that he and the boys were planning something special, something I would love. The boys would overhear our conversation and come over rubbing their hands together like they were proud of their secret plot to give me the grandest of all Mother’s Day surprises.

Instead he said, “I don’t know, babe. What would you like to do?” as he carried the bag of trash out the door. He’s lucky I didn’t dump the spaghetti sauce on his head when he walked back into the kitchen.

In most instances this would not be considered a bad response to my question. If we were going out on a date night or making plans for the weekend, asking me for my opinion would be the wisest possible thing for him to do. But asking me what I wanted to do on Mother’s Day? Well, let’s just say it didn’t go over so well.

I didn’t immediately blow up. Luckily for him the spaghetti sauce remained in the jar, but I did start to pout which morphed into full-blown anger in about five seconds. The Golfer stood in the kitchen dazed and confused wishing there were another bag of trash for him to escape with. He had no clue why I was so mad. Here in lies the problem.

You see, I don’t want to plan Mother’s Day. Actually, any holiday outside of what I call “The Big 5” (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Father’s Day and Easter), I don’t want to plan. I don’t want to plan Valentine’s Day, our anniversary, and I especially don’t want to plan my own birthday. Those are days when I wanted to be surprised, treated, and pampered. I want them to go down like they do in the movies, complete with happy tears and lavish gifts. But that rarely happens and unfortunately I don’t live in the movies.

I haven’t helped much by being the ultimate planner that I am. Over the years, the Golfer has gotten used to me taking care of things, always doing the planning, so it’s only natural that he would defer to me for ideas in planning such an occasion.

“I don’t know, babe. What would you like to do?”

After a few minutes had passed and my blood pressure dropped back down to normal, it occurred to me that I hadn’t made things very easy for my sweet Golfer. Mother’s Day was still a week away, still within a husband’s window of opportunity to pull something together. I needed to relax and let whatever happens, happen.

“No matter what you plan for Mother’s Day, I’m sure it will be great. As long as the four of us are together that’s all I really care about.”

And when I said it, I really meant it. I still do. And hopefully the Golfer was smart enough to read between the lines and plan something special anyway. Hopefully.

Here’s hoping that you have a very, very happy Mother’s Day!

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