“Mom, what do you want for your birthday?” we’d asked.
She’d be bent over the floor mopping or pulling cookies out of the oven or hanging sheets on the line. (Sure, we could’ve just lent a hand for her special day. But, our immaturity would blind us for another decade or so, until we had our own houses with dirty floors and beds and hungry mouths.)
“Oh, you know,” she’d say around the clothespins. “Just a day without you kids fighting.”
She’d say the same thing almost every year. Somehow, my brother, sister, and I preferred spending a few bucks on cards and gifts than waving a white flag around for a full 24 hours. Even a simple piece of paper marked up with stick figures and I-love-mommy-hearts could justify hours of standing up for our rights and slamming doors…[continue reading here]