Mother’s Day, in theory, is a day for you, the mom, to be cherished and celebrated.
It’s a day to recognize all the tireless effort you invest in the safety and wellbeing of those beloved babes. The day’s activities are fueled by their altruistic desire to pamper and wow you with homemade gifts and treat you to a delicious breakfast in bed.
In reality, you have likely been up for hours, hopefully already had one real breakfast (ideally alone) and you have mentally prepared yourself for the soon-to-be destroyed kitchen – and to be honest, you wouldn’t want it any other way.
It’s a perfectly imperfect day.
You will sit in your bed, awaiting the breakfast your children have lovingly prepared, and are so proud to present sometime before lunchtime, hopefully. You will try to enjoy a shower and a moment of solace while mixing bowls and skillets bang and clack together downstairs, indicative of the culinary creation that will soon ascend the stairs.
When they finally arrive with a breakfast spread for mama, you will greet them with great ceremony and enthusiasm at their masterful concoctions.
There might be decorative dandelions or other yard finds to adorn the plate. Ever the seasoned mom, you will carefully but slyly scan the plate looking for unnoticed eggshells hidden in the dangerously undercooked eggs.
You will drink the now cold coffee with glee so as not to deprive the kids of their moment of awe and appreciation.
The unmistakable smell of critically burned bacon will have wafted into your room an hour before it makes its actual appearance. When the blackest, most burned bacon perhaps of all time finally arrives, you will do you damndest to not picture the grease spatters all over the stove downstairs.
You eat that crunchy tar bacon with a big smile and expressions of gratitude.
Now for the big moment – the featured Mother’s Day Special – the pancakes. You could hear them being mixed, flipped and lost to the skillet or the floor. They range in format from sushi-grade raw-on-the-inside pancakes to burned-within-an-inch-of-one’s-pancake-life.
There is the failed flip pancake, the one that started out well but lost its fight against the inexperienced toddler sous chef armed with an unwieldy spatula.
Let us not forget the school of tiny silver dollar pancakes that make for a fun polka dot pattern on the plate. There are the conjoined twin pancakes, who began their life as separate pancakes but melded together in the end.
Dad earns points here for his attempt at pancake art, with the pseudo-Mickey Mouse pancake and maybe, if you’re lucky, the perfect heart-shaped pancake. The sugar-obsessed child proudly debuted his sundae pancake, laden with whipped cream, sprinkles and...is that fruit? Or syrup? Did somebody melt down some fruit snacks? Let it go, let it go...
There’s a monster pancake with banana horns and strawberry teeth, next to the trio of blueberry or chocolate chip pancakes that look almost like they were prepared by an adult, it’s a Mother’s Day miracle!
Regardless of how critically flawed the outcome, the effort and the thought are all that counts. That and butter, because without delicious cultured butter and maple syrup – these pancakes would be in far worse shape.
The truth is, you mom, are a master of imperfection these days.
You’re taking it one day at a time just like everybody else, and those undercooked pancakes are the least of your worries. You’re learning to let go of a lot right now, mainly the exasperating pursuit of normalcy. Eat the raw pancakes, get syrup on the sheets, hug those sous chef pirates you call kids, and give them what they need most, your love and attention.
You will read their handmade cards and not ask why they are sticky -- because you already know.
You will not silently curse the sink full of dishes or overflowing trash can (see also: pancake morgue) because you love the way they love you– and just maybe there’s a new hanging flower basket or bottle of rosé hidden somewhere for later.