Monday, May 12, 2014
Allow me a quick fantasy.
It's Mother's Day. I sleep late and wake to those soft chirping sounds you find in a Disney Princess feature-length cartoon. My daughter and husband slip into the master bedroom, quietly in case I'm still sleeping. As they see that I'm up, they present an elaborate breakfast-in-bed: fresh flaky croissant, steaming café au lait (apparently they got the tray in Paris or something), a single flower with petals like velvet. Once I've eaten, my devoted family suggests a marvelous afternoon of activities, each chosen to suit my tastes and preferences: a trip to a local art gallery, a musical theatre matinee, an early evening picnic on the beach. Although, I've told them I don't need presents, they surprise me with some romantic art nouveau estate jewelry. Nothing too grand. Diamonds are always appropriate.
All right. We're done.
Here's how my Mother's Day really went.
I set my alarm for 4:45 am. This means that I was up pretty much every half hour since midnight, counting down. "Oh, I still have three hours." "Oh, I still have two hours." "Oh, I still have forty-six minutes." "Oh, WTF, I might as well get up."
After splashing some water on my face, I went to check on my teenage daughter. Wonder of wonders (miracle of miracles), she was already up. My child getting herself up at oh-god-o'clock can only mean one thing ...
Yes, a big fat USEA recognized three-phase event on Mother's Day. To make it even more special, it wasn't local. No, that would be too easy. It was out in Western Mass. Two hours and forty minutes from our stable, which is thirty minutes from our house, where my daughter had to spend forty-five minutes grooming her pony and loading the trailer.
Do the math if you like. I'm too tired.
My husband, meanwhile, had to prepare for a business trip and look at a new (new, used) car, so I was flying solo. Well, not solo, exactly. I was flying with three very excited teenagers and their trainer.
It was unseasonably warm (after being unseasonably cold for the past two months or more). The event was packed. Hundreds of young women (and the tiniest handful of young men) were there to compete in dressage, stadium jumping and cross-country.
My role at these events is critical. In addition to driving, I do hair (a tight bun in a black net with a smart velvet bow). I pack a lunch and nag my daughter to drink water and eat something. ("Something with a little protein in it, please.") I locate lost articles (a single glove, a collar pin, a hoof pick).
And, I hold my breath while my daughter does her course. That and pray a little.
I'm fairly certain this helps.
On Mother's Day, with my husband otherwise occupied, I also had to use my daughter's fancy-schmancy camera to capture action shots. The directions were clear and to the point. "Get every jump," she told me. Pressure much? But, I succeeded and, in all honesty, I was so nervous about taking the pictures that I forgot to be nervous about my darling daughter and her beloved steed flying over jumps.
At one point, my daughter came up and said "Let's get a picture of the two of us together." It was a nice (and unusual) request, but something interrupted and we never managed to do it.
When we got home that evening, I learned why she had asked.
There, on Facebook was a picture of the two of us from an earlier show this season. My daughter had posted it with the following message:
Late to the game...but happy mothers day to the best (horse show) mom there is! Thank you so much for sacrificing your day today and going to my event! You were and always are so helpful thanks for everything love you
Then there was a little emoji smiley face.
It wasn't breakfast in bed (that's ok, we grabbed Dunkin' Donuts on the road). It wasn't a museum or a matinee.
But, it felt a lot like diamonds to me.
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