I know I’m a few days past Mother’s Day. But seriously, did you see yesterday’s post? It’s a chaotic war zone her in Clegg house (me vs. germs. I am losing. All the battles and the war.) So better late than never, right?
In honor of Mother’s Day, there’s a story I’ve been wanting to share about my mom. It’s of one of my all time favorite memories with her. Let’s start off with a little background info: my mom is also a nurse, and has spent the last thirty years working nightshifts. She works hard. Very hard. Looking back to when I was a kid, I don’t know how she did it. She would work a twelve hour shift and then come home and sleep while we were at school, only to be woken up (much too early, I’m sure) by her rambunctious kids arriving home. She made it to every school concert and play and every little league game. She found the time to help us with science fair projects, shuttle us back and forth to various classes, clubs and friends’ houses. She frequently took us camping. To sum it up, she’s pretty much the most amazing mom ever.
Needless to say, with three kids (one a decade older than the other two who were practically Irish twins), and all the aforementioned timesucks, it was difficult for my mom to ever spend much one-on-one time with any of us. We always had to share her attention because that’s just how life is. But there was one day that I didn’t have to share her.
I was about twelve years old. One random day, my mom surprised me by buying us tickets to a Broadway musical at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theater. It was The King and I and the lead role was being played by Hayley Mills. Yes, that Hayley Mills. I had never been to a Broadway production before, nor had I been anywhere as glamorous as the 5th Avenue Theater. It was gorgeous, and I remember the enormous gilded dragon holding an immense chandelier in his mouth from the roof above our seats. We went to dinner before the performance, to a fancy, expensive restaurant called Palomino that was nearby in the heart of downtown Seattle.
I remember feeling so excited by all these unasked-for, extravagant surprises. I remember feeling so proud that my mom thought I was grown up enough to go to such fancy places. But more than any other detail from that day, I remember that my mom wanted to spend that whole day with me. Just me. I didn’t have to beg or even ask for her attention – it was all her idea. I didn’t have to share her with anyone else that day. She could have chosen to get a million other chores or tasks done. She could have chosen to take my brother and I both to do some fun thing. She chose to spend the day with me.
I never doubted for a minute that my mom loved me, no matter how busy she was, no matter how little time she had to give anyone individual attention. I always knew she was busy and exhausted because she was trying so hard to give us everything. Her every action spoke volumes about her love and dedication to her children. So that one beautiful day, with just the two of us, was so magical, so meaningful. I don’t know if I’ve ever told her how much that day meant to me. How it’s up there in the top five best days of my life. So, Mom, I’m telling you now. And in case I forgot to say it twenty years ago, thank you for that day. It was perfect.