Most of it was spent looking at a lot of these. Numbers on jerseys, or, in my highly exciting and newly learned athletic vocabulary: pinnies (not sure if it's pinnies or pinnys). Yes, Gentle Reader, I spent my Mother's Day at a track meet. Watching my offspring leap, run, and jump. With a lot of other leapers, jumpers, and runners. And they all had to wear a pinny and a number.
This was the number from FDPG's pinny. When she wasn't leaping, running, and jumping she was grilling people about what her number was. I played the game twice then told her it was no longer amusing. I know, I know, call me a Shatterer of Dreams, but some games just aren't compelling enough to warrant my continued diplomacy.
I was going to use Dominic's number for this photo, but as he'd gone and lost his pinny before the track meet had even BEGUN - on the stupid field somewhere - that I decided I was so irritated with him and his brand-new-never-been-worn-and-the-stupid-thing-cost-me-thirty-dollars-now-we-have-to-buy-another-#@&*%$-one pinny that I decided to use the next number handy.
Fortunately I don't have a lot of expectations about Mother's Day, other than that it should involve a large bowl of latté in the morning, perhaps something chocolatey later, and perhaps some time in the garden if the weather is nice. It must involve champagne though. Always champagne (by which I refer not to the genuine article but the cheaper garden variety, originating outside the region of Champagne and thus one quarter of the price up here in the Land of the Heavily Taxed Bottle). I try to avoid Extended Family Occasions, because they are often fraught with tensions I prefer to avoid. I encourage Richard the Nervous Around Holidays Man (because they are fraught with Present Buying Tension) to avoid spending cash we don't have and stick to simple things like tomato plants and the odd package of seeds.
But I always forget to factor in FDPG. Who thrives on such occasions. Especially when they involve me, because she still loves me with the fervent devotion that is the hallmark of the little kid. Not that I'm complaining, mind you; it's just that I have a Teenager who has gone and lost that fervent devotion. He still loves me, at least, he still likes me to hug his sagging frame in the early morning when his defenses are down, but for the most part he is mildly embarrassed at the idea of Worship Mummy Day (which is how FDPG interprets Mother's Day).
FDPG's initial idea, stolen from a brochure she got at a Garden Centre, was to have Richard give her money to buy me a ticket for a Garden Tour here in town. Richard showed me the brochure a couple of days before Mother's Day, straight after FDPG had approached him. We both snickered a little at what a Sharp & Secretive Plotter she is. Then we examined the brochure, me with interest and him with skepticism. "You don't really want to do that, do you?" he whispered. "Wouldn't you rather have some plants or something?"
I looked at Richard. I looked at the brochure. It looked fun. I said so. Richard looked incredulous and nervous at the same time. "Really?" he said. I could tell he thought I was being diplomatic. But I could also tell that the price tag attached to this idea was giving him pause, so I told him to give her $10 to take me to Ye Olde Charbuckie's for a coffee and a kids hot chocolate instead. He was relieved, both at the idea that I didn't really want to go on a Garden Tour, and at the fact that I had given him a more welcome idea.
Oh, Charming But Inept Husband, I thought. After all these years together, haven't you realized what a voyeur I am? I love the idea of snooping around beautiful expensive gardens. I could pinch other people's ideas. Study their plant combinations. Sneak a few cuttings here and there if they don't mind. I could snap surreptitious photos, then plot to recreate them in my own garden.
Even FDPG knows that.
The rest of my Mother's Day was spent doing this. For the Teenager. Since we moved here, I have been promising to find somewhere for him to set up his HO train track. We had it outside briefly last summer, on some bricks, but it didn't work very well. The trains went back in the box. And then, one day last week, I made a rash promise to clear out the Oil Tank Room for the table. This is the same room where the oil tank was when we bought the house. The previous owners had built a bunk on top of it for one of their children, too, a fact which mildly horrified us at the time, until we found a bottle of Captain Morgan rum in the rafters and some lighter burns on the ceiling, whereupon Richard and I both silently thought "Amazing the house never blew up." And as the insurance people wouldn't let us keep the oil tank (it being 60 years old and all) we had it removed. And this room has sort of sat, still named the Oil Tank Room, but in reality an Odds & Ends Room. As you can see. Lots of odds and ends in there.
But yesterday we cleared it out and now the train table has a place. I do keep my promises. They might take a while, mind you.
Happy Mother's day, all you mothers.