I Am Deciduous

Uncategorized

I am a deciduous tree. I am not an evergreen. My leaves are destined to float away. Today, I’m feeling the mounting chill of a fading autumn and I’m bracing myself for the moment when my branches become completely bare and exposed.

I love my leaves. They provide a soothing shade in the scorching heat, and a dazzling display of color and flamboyance in the fall. My leaves help passersby identify who I am. Isn’t it satisfying to glance at a tree and be able to immediately snap your fingers and say, “That’s a maple! That’s an oak! That’s a magnolia!” and feel that you know what its defining attribute is? Whether it’s sturdy or flowering or fruit bearing.

The falling of my leaves is not new. It happens cyclically and is a biological necessity. But when my leaves are on the ground, raked up in large piles for children to jump on or blown into the street by old men who find them a nuisance, my heart’s reaction is to weep.

Don’t shove my leaves into bags! Those are my leaves! I grew them and nourished them and now they are gone.

But deciduous trees lose their leaves to conserve water so they can survive the harshest of winters before growing fresh new foliage in the spring. A healthy tree must let go of what no longer serves a purpose, to preserve that which is needed to flourish in the new season. And in the current season, I am not here to be functional or entertaining. I am not here to provide shade, or produce fruit, or excite with my technicolor hues. And I must not worry about having convenient identifiers for casual onlookers.

Right now, I am conserving water. To survive these bitter elements, I am allowing myself to be temporarily indistinguishable in this tangled grove of trunks and twigs. And as quickly as the freezing winds swoop in from the west, they will exit to the east. The sun will rise, the soil will warm, and soon my empty branches will sprout again, more beautifully than ever before.

Some might herald the evergreen, with its consistency, its signature, its comforting predictability.

But I will never be evergreen.

I am deciduous. And my blooming season is just on the horizon.

The Silent Storm of Love Unspoken

Uncategorized

Sometimes, late at night, I feel a profound feeling of grief that grips me by shoulders, pushing me down into the murky depths of some sort of existential dread. I consider how both frighteningly short and unfathomably long the rest of my life feels, considering the complex burden of responsibility that comes with living life to its full potential – as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, and neighbor.

Often it feels like I’m mourning a loss that I haven’t yet experienced. On those nights, like tonight, I soak my pillow with tears not meant for anyone in particular, except perhaps my children who are sleeping peacefully down the hall – children who I am terrified of losing.

I feel fear, love, grief, and guilt. Guilt for not routinely expressing my deepest love for them, for not saying right to their round little faces what I can so clearly articulate in my mind in the deep blue silence of the night. In the heaviness of the twilight, I yearn to wrap my arms around them and say what feels so grotesquely saccharine in the light of day. I wish I was wired for these words of affirmation. It can be torture to feel such warmth in my heart while lacking the ability to push the words out of my mouth, like a non-verbal toddler angrily banging her head against the wall because she can’t find a way to ask for more milk.

Processing these feelings can be a very lonely experience, and so I attempt to drown them out with my headphones. I can hear the low roar of a passing freight train floating above the music and for a moment, I confuse it as rolling thunder. When I realize that these cold winter nights do not produce the atmospheric electricity needed to drown out this emotional rollercoaster, I’m disappointed. It’s a little peculiar for me to crave thunder when under normal circumstances, I would feel a bit frightened by it.

What a strange person I am – fearful of the storms until I become one.

Identity on the Rocks

Uncategorized

At the bar

Intended to be a departure from the suburban mundane

But instead it substantiates the mundane

The faces symmetrical, mirror images of the retail banners that splash across my vanilla algorithm

Age, sex, location, all generating the toothy grins selling me a life designed

By marketing interns hired to sell tech vests and minimalistic twin sets

Perfectly suited for the coasts of Maine

I’ll never be that

I’m just the girl behind a whiskey on the rocks

Trying to reconcile my neurotic thoughts of trauma and discontent

With the expectations of this perfectly attractive population generating the national GDP

I work as twice as hard

My thoughts generating triple the effort of these plastic bodies

That diminish mine as I walk through the door

Who created the haves and have nots?

The lines of delineation tearing through my flesh as I strive to please them all

At work, at home

In the past, the present

God help the future as it hobbles through lessons never learned

We smile as we try to ignore our inevitable demise

The smile heals

At the same time that it hurts

And lies

And pushes the mess under the bed

Until the next time we all need a good old fashioned meltdown

As if we never saw it coming

Finding Peace in the Smallness

Uncategorized

There’s an inspirational quote that has made the rounds in my social media networks:

“You are bigger than what is making you anxious.”

The statement is painted in vibrant red and orange stencils against aged brick facades and emblazoned across oversized coffee mugs in chic metallic script. It is an uplifting statement, designed to help those of us plagued with daily stress and anxiety to rise above the seemingly trivial triggers that undermine peace.

But there’s an adjacent philosophy that makes this all a bit tricky.

Women in particular are constantly being urged to take up space, to pull up a seat at the table, to speak loudly and unabashedly, and to make no apologies. Aggressively squash the imposter syndrome, and where you have very real knowledge gaps, fake it ‘til you make it. LIVE LARGE.

Undoubtedly, employing these mantras are necessary to revolt against the social conditioning that has pushed so many of us to shrink away from the spotlight, to be talked over, passed over, and marginalized. 

But then, here I am, seemingly an outlier of these social norms. I assert myself. I take up space. I speak up. I cozy up to “the table.” I make the tough calls. And I’m anxious, sad, angry, and stressed precisely because of the boisterous assets that are propelling me forward.

“Your bigness is what is making you anxious” is what my cover image should say. Forget the cheeky brick wall stencils – instead, Banksy should spray paint a woman with a big mouth and sleep-deprived blood shot eyes, painfully stretched across three chairs at the proverbial table.

In the words of the young people: It me.

And I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately. The anxiety runs deep, coursing through every vein of my practical, middle America suburban existence. The stakes feel tremendously high, and every decision I make – from what to order from Uber Eats to what my 3-year strategic plan looks like at work – weighs on my shoulders in equal proportion.

Yes, I’m a 21st century Rosie the Riveter, the portrait of modern femininity (ordered off Etsy from the #Empowerment category, packaged in a shiplap frame). Maneuvering middle management. Navigating the pressures of breadwinning. Mothering a pre-adolescent daughter who wears “Girl Power” buttons on her jacket and just started wearing deodorant – Dove deodorant, which, incidentally, is the leading consumer packaged goods brand in fourth-wave feminist marketing spend.

“You can’t know everything,” I explained to her little angelic type-A face after getting a tire patched up at a local auto parts store. That’s what I said to the condescending little twerp behind the counter after he asked me some stupidly specific question about my vehicle that he, as a subject matter expert on automobile parts, should absolutely know but instead chose to attempt to knock me down a few pegs for not knowing the answer.

“I can’t know everything, okay?” I lobbed back at him. “Look it up.”

But despite that momentary surge of defiance, I’m routinely beating myself up for not immediately landing on The Answer to Everything in every facet of my life. In my preoccupation with stomping out my imposter syndrome and faking it ‘til I make it, I’m incapable of asking for help or accepting support or admitting failure. And to support these deficiencies, I’ve built a personal “brand” of wisecracking self-deprecation. Though I’ll let you in on a little secret: it’s mostly just repressed anxiety masquerading as self-assurance.

It’s a mode of self-preservation.

And sometimes, it hurts.

When Anthony Bourdain died, a tidal wave of quotes surged through the 24-hour news cycle, Instagram and Twitter, and celebrity tributes. (We sure love our inspirational quotes, don’t we?) One quote in particular jumped out from my newsfeed and to this day, I can’t shake its resonance in my own life:

“The more I become aware of, the more I realize how relatively little I know of it, how many places I have still to go, how much more there is to learn.

Maybe that’s enlightenment enough – to know that there is no final resting place of the mind, no moment of smug clarity.

Perhaps wisdom, at least for me, means realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.”

Such calmness these words have brought to me. In a world where you’re being pushed to be big, you need the strength to accept how very small you actually are.

Smallness can be a comfort, alleviating the pressure to have all the answers and halting the grind on all cylinders. And, most importantly, smallness frees up space for others to sidle up next to you – whether at “the table,” at the bar on a lonely Sunday afternoon, or in your bed during a sleepless night – where the demons can be unrelenting until a familiar arm pulls you towards a heart that recognizes your own.

Live from a Chick-fil-A: Play-by-Play of a Failed Sex Talk

Uncategorized

ANNOUNCER 1:

We are LIVE at the epicenter of Chicago’s beautiful suburban sprawl to bring you another round of “Failed Attempts at Good Parenting.” Today’s match-up? A mom and her pre-adolescent daughter, who are about to have a riveting exchange about the birds and the bees.

ANNOUNCER 2:

That’s right, ladies and gentleman. After nearly a decade of insisting to her children that Jesus places the baby in mommy’s tummy through a series of magical spells, Mom has suddenly realized that this story will not play well in the junior high locker room.

ANNOUNCER 1:

Many sources credit Mom’s recent horrified binge of HBO’s teen sex drama “Euphoria” as the turning point. Apparently that Zendaya girl is a real pistol.

ANNOUNCER 2:

Yeah, turns out there’s a lot more fentanyl and group sex on HBO than there is on the Disney Channel.

ANNOUNCER 1:

Let’s turn our attention to the dining room of a local Chick-fil-A, where Mom has chosen to have The Talk. Can’t tell if this was purposeful or totally ill-advised. This place is absolutely packed with young families.

ANNOUNCER 2:

It’s the Baptists. They really show up for their people.

ANNOUNCER 1:

Well, it’s a bold strategy. Let’s see if it pays off.

ANNOUNCER 2:

Looks like they’ve settled in with their food. Daughter has crispy nuggets, Mom has grilled. Adhering to Weight Watchers even under the height of pressure. Good for her.

ANNOUNCER 1:

Wow, the tension in the air is thicker than that honey mustard sauce.

ANNOUNCER 2:

WHOA! She jumped right into it! Mom skipped the small talk and went straight to asking her if she knows what sex is.

ANNOUNCER 1:

This woman is a loose cannon. Most experts would advise a gradual warm-up period. Sure hope she doesn’t pull a hammy out there.

ANNOUNCER 2:

Daughter’s face seems to imply that there is more foundational knowledge about sex in place here than previously assumed. The big question is, where did she get this information?

ANNOUNCER 1:

I wouldn’t be surprised if that harlot Zendaya has something to do with it.

ANNOUNCER 2:

Mom’s initial gusto is rapidly devolving into a red-faced fluster. She’s trying stick to a fact-based anatomical overview, but she’s haphazardly bouncing back and forth between male and female genitalia without any sense of direction.

ANNOUNCER 1:

Pre-event polls predicted that Mom was going to take a more pragmatic approach but we’re only five minutes in and the word scrotum has been said three times.

ANNOUNCER 2:

Experts would tell you that’s at least two times too many at this juncture.

ANNOUNCER 1:

As an aside, Daughter has not even touched her nuggets. However, when we zoom in on Mom’s tray…oh my. All her nuggets are gone. That was a 12-piece box. That’s got to be a stress eating record.

ANNOUNCER 2:

We’re at an important part of the conversation now. She’s getting into the mechanics of intercourse.

ANNOUNCER 1:

Daughter’s neck seems to have completely disappeared as her head sinks right into her torso. Her skin color is rapidly changing to a strange green hue as she realizes that intercourse has occurred between every adult couple she knows.

ANNOUNCER 2:

This is electric. You can actually see the flicker of pain in her eyes as she runs through the roster: parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, teachers, karate instructors, the President…

ANNOUNCER 1:

On the upside, Mom seems to be slowly regaining her composure. She got through the tough stuff and managed not to use any grotesque hand gestures. Her posture seems more confident as she sips on her Diet Dr. Pepper.

ANNOUNCER 2:

WAIT, what’s that? Hold on…a follow-up question just came out of left field. Did you catch that?

ANNOUNCER 1:

Yikes. Daughter is asking about same-sex intercourse.

ANNOUNCER 2:

UNBELIEVEABLE! A MASSIVE FUMBLE. Mom didn’t caveat that this overview was in a purely heterosexual context. No mention of the broader sexual spectrum. She should have seen that coming. Wow. Where’s the preparation?! Stunning pivot from offense to defense.

ANNOUNCER 1:

Yup. And in the words of Bear Bryant, defense wins championships.

ANNOUNCER 2:

And what about consent? Not a single mention of boundaries.

ANNOUNCER 1:

It’s almost as if Mom hasn’t read a single sex-positive think piece leading into thing. I mean, it’s not like Alyssa Milano is out there tweeting about bodily autonomy for her own health.

ANNOUNCER 2:

I gotta say, the Chick-fil-A decision is really backfiring. This is the absolute worst place to teach your 10-year-old daughter about gay sex. I don’t care how good their chicken is.

ANNOUNCER 1:

Especially now that you’ve got Popeye’s making big moves. Have you tried their chicken sandwich? Dynamite.

ANNOUNCER 2:

Well, it looks like things are winding down. Mom’s expertly deflected any additional follow-up questions and is now delivering an after school special speech about how she is always there for her if she has questions or wants to talk about anything.

ANNOUNCER 1:

We’ll give her some credit here. This is a remarkably solid ending to what was an otherwise flimsy parenting performance.

ANNOUNCER 2:

Be sure to join us for the next live parenting event: “Substance Abuse is Bad Except for When I Do It”

Dysfunctional Vibes Only

Uncategorized

Welcome to my Etsy store!

About Me

I started this little side project to express myself creatively, as well as to combat the compounding, chaotic effect of late capitalism, which has plummeted the American middle class into a rapid death spiral, thus forcing me to make shoddy hand crafts to generate a supplemental income in order to put my kids through college so that they too can spend the rest of their adult years as wage slaves in a broken system.

About My Products

Explore my latest range of hand painted fireplace mantle signs, which are an expansion of my wildly popular “Good Vibes Only” collection. These shabby chic pieces will bring warmth and individuality to any overpriced Craftsman bungalow.

Shop Collection:

“Unpredictable Lactose Intolerance” Vibes

“I Owe An Unspeakable Amount Of Late Fees On Library Books I Never Finished” Vibes

“I’m Embarrassed By How Quickly I Just Ate That Value Meal In My Car While Driving” Vibes

“Actually, Woman At Old Navy, Leggings Are Pants And That’s A Hill I’ll Die On, You Misguided Female Misogynist” Vibes

“For The Love Of God, Why Do You Type LOL At The End Of Every Text” Vibes

“Oops, I Haven’t Changed The Oil In My Car In Two Years” Vibes

“I’m Secretly Jealous Of My Parents’ Cat Because He Gets To Freely Nap Without Consequence” Vibes

“Oh God! Is That A Serial Killer Or A Racoon In My Garbage?” Vibes

“Why Does Chronic Procrastination Feel So Good While Also Being Utterly Destructive, Oh No I’m Basically A Heroine Addict” Vibes

“I Never Go To The Doctor So I Probably Have A Dormant Blood Disease” Vibes

“I Don’t Have A Living Will So I Hope I Don’t Die Suddenly And Unexpectedly From This Blood Disease” Vibes

“You’re Using The Term Marxism Incorrectly But I Won’t Correct You Because You Have A Great LinkedIn Network That I May Need One Day” Vibes

“I Know This Shirt Is A Little Too Lowcut For This Situation But Honestly That’s Why I Picked It” Vibes

“The Other Day I Doubted The Existence Of A Higher Power And It Made Me Feel So Guilty That I Emotionally Ate A Stale Chocolate Bunny I Found In My Son’s Toy Box” Vibes

“Ask Yourself Why You’re The Only Person Who Thinks I Have Resting Bitch Face” Vibes

“When I Recycle It’s Purely Peformative But At Least I’m Recycling” Vibes

“I Instagram Every Egg I Poach Because That’s The Only Thing I Know How To Cook” Vibes

Each mantle sign is $14.99 + tax + shipping charges.

Don’t forget to tag us on Insta!

Her Pleasure Peaks at 10/9 CT

Uncategorized

Blood pulses through her veins, filling each and every one of her extremities with intoxicating warmth, as if every strip of sinew is dripping in thick molasses. Her muscles alternate between tension and relaxation as she’s enveloped in mind-numbing desire, almost to the point of seeing stars. She bites her lower lip and lets out a deep moan. Her spirit grabs onto this exhalation, finally escaping the chokehold of her body and freely dancing along the sparkling, infinite freeway of existential exploration.  

This is absolute pleasure.

This is self-actualization.

This is an ultra-plush microfiber blanket she found on clearance in the Nate Berkus Décor endcap at Target, and now it’s covering her body as she eats Triscuits on the couch, watching low-def Everybody Loves Raymond reruns on TV Land after a 10-hour work day and a 45-minute bedtime routine with the kids, who for some reason can never remember that they have to brush their teeth and put on pajamas literally every single night even though she’s been doing the exact routine with them for over ten years, which is also the same routine every other human being does before bed across seven continents – well probably just six, since she’s not sure climate researchers in Antarctica ritualistically change into PJs and floss every night like the rest of us do…well, maybe they do, because there’s probably comfort in consistency when you spend the rest of your day using data analytics to predict the planet’s inevitable demise, as well as fleeing from ravenous polar bears.

Ooohhhh yeah, baby. It doesn’t get any better than this. 

She Let Herself Go

Uncategorized

I was recently at a bar for a work function, eating pot stickers and talking to a colleague about synergy and alignment and economies of scale or whatever, when I overheard a conversation at the table behind me. There was a man in his mid-40s sitting on one side of the booth across from three young women, all of whom were hovering around 23. He was dressed like a mix between Steve from “Blues Clues,” a part-time club promoter, and a fax machine technician. He spoke in a nasally and grossly self-assured voice.

“Here’s the thing, women let themselves go at 35.”

Why these three women were hanging on to Mr. Xerox’s every word remains a mystery. At any rate, they giggled at this declaration. They giggled because when you’re 23, 35 seems distant and irrelevant.

Now, to be fair, there is a pretty big difference between 23 and 35. When I was 23, everything in my wardrobe was made of polyester and I had a cardboard box full of tiny “travel sized” bottles of Jim Beam under my kitchen sink, which I reserved for chugging on the subway at room temperature on the way to concerts sponsored by Red Bull. Sure, I was skinnier and dewier and could bend over and tie my shoes while wearing low rise jeans, but I also bought Sum 41 tickets. On purpose.

Therefore, nothing warranted the ageist, sexist disparagement this guy was sputtering between bites of jalapeno poppers. I, of course, wanted to wallop him. It was a futile, emotional reaction, but it’s hard to keep a level head when you’re being subjected to the human equivalent of a refurbished Motorola Razr.

I happen to be 35. And I can say with confidence that I most certainly have not let myself go, at least not in the way he meant it.

That said, here is what I have let go of:

  • Suppressing my snorts when I laugh at something extremely funny. I will let those suckers rip any time, any place.

  • Pretending at parties that I actually know the rules to football. I have watched so many football games and I still have a barely cursory understanding of what’s going on, except that we celebrate 10-yard increments. But don’t worry, you can still invite me to your playoff parties. Like a woman powering through a lukewarm one-night stand, I can expertly fake my way though all the right moments if needed.
  • Attempting to walk in any heels higher than 3.25” or with a diameter of less than an inch. Life’s too short to wobble around like a top-heavy baby colt. Give me a pair of block heel loafers and I will out-dance you at a wedding, out-walk you on a pub crawl, and out-run you during the inevitable zombie apocalypse.
  • Mastering the art of dicing tomatoes and onions. I like homemade salsa as much as the next person, but when it’s time to chop delicate produce, my hands turn into hammy hulk fists and I have the fine motor skills of a fat baby.
  • Learning how to change a tire. I get that it’s supposed to be a “Life Skills 101” type thing, but if you thought I was bad at handling a beefsteak tomato, wait until you see me with a scissor jack.
  • The impulse to deflect compliments. Yes, this is a fabulous blouse, and the fact that I bought it at TJ Maxx and it has no lining and the armpit seam is being held together by a series of conspicuously placed safety pins is not information that needs to be shared right now.
  • Lying about my weight on my license. I used to lament over how bad my license photo was until one day, my youngest looked at it and said “But mommy, that’s how you look.” To his point, we all know what I look like and it’s definitely not 5’8, 140 lbs. If I ever get kidnapped and forced to openly participate in some sort of religious cult, I want the authorities to be looking for the correct full-figured girl blinking twice for help.

“Letting go” has made me happier, and if I wasn’t stuffing my 35-year-old lady face with ½ priced apps, I may have turned around and told him so.

(That’s the other thing I’m learning to let go of. Bar fights.)

Besides, in another 12 years, those three women will be where I am today – happily snorting their way to the top in a wrinkle-resistant, all-season herringbone blazer, with nary a thread of polyester blend in sight.

Oh No, My Metaphorical Carcass Is Splitting

Creativity, Parenthood, Working Mom

When women return to the workforce after maternity leave, there’s this immediate focus on maximum efficiency hour-to-hour, minute-to-minute. Never a moment wasted “on the clock,” for wasted moments during the work day lead to workload spillover at night, thus infringing on those precious few hours that can be enjoyed with one’s darling children.

Creativity is a lot like that child begging for attention at night (and, in my case, is in addition to actual human children). I constantly yearn to do more than what has already been deemed excessive by most definitions of work/life “equity.” It would be far less emotionally taxing to not feel so compelled to CREATE and instead remain focused on that maximum corporate efficiency during the day and the dutiful parenting at night.

Instead, I often feel like I’m strapped to one of those medieval limb stretching devices, being yanked to the north, south, east, and west until my carcass cracks and splits and pops open like a piñata.

Yes, it really would be so much more pleasant to not feel driven to stay up until 1 AM to write a bunch of meandering metaphors about screaming babies and splitting carcasses, but here we are.

It’s been 454 days since I last wrote an original piece of my own. It’s been two years since I last produced a sketch show. I recently discovered that I’ve forgotten how to read music and my muscle memory as a pianist is all but gone. This is more than a little dry spell. This is my own personal artistic Sahara Desert, all 3.6 million square miles of it. (Yeah, I’m using a lot of metaphors but I fact check the hell out of them.) And while I’m in the middle of the desert, something is pushing me to find that oasis that will rehydrate me and propel me out of the dunes.

I’ve been feeling an overwhelming sense over the last many months that my next big creative “a-ha!” is right around the corner. I think I just needed to let that crackling pig skin tear open. In the desert. While a baby screams for attention. As a crappy rendition of “Chopsticks” clangs in the background.

Wow, I am really rusty.

Okay, Pokay. Time to get to work.

A Simple Mother’s Day Agenda

Mother's Day, Motherhood

To my beloved family on this blessed Mother’s Day:

Here is my proposed agenda for the day’s festivities. As you know, I am a simple woman who enjoys simple pleasures. I hope you find the following itinerary as lovely as I do.

First, even though it will be Sunday morning, I will still set my alarm for 6AM. I have no intention of rising at 6AM, but as you know, I derive great pleasure out of hitting snooze every 10 minutes while chaos slowly erupts around me. Dear son, please know that if you choose to drag that chair across my wood floors so you can climb to the top of the pantry and dump Grape Nuts all over the place, understand that you’ll have to eat it off the floor because Mommy will still be upstairs hitting snooze with her face buried in her pillow.

Now that breakfast is out of the way, I will roll out of bed and make my way downstairs. Dear husband, this is when you will comment on my natural beauty. Notice how my hair is both sticking straight up as well as matted flat against my drool-soaked cheek. That’s no accident. That’s how I keep things spicy.

Time for me to groom myself! I love a good at-home spa day. Some moms may exfoliate with a homemade sugar scrub or apply an organic conditioning mask to their hair. Not me. I’m just going to stand in the shower motionless under the scalding water for 35 minutes, because I can. I hope no one else will need to take a shower after me because at this point there will be no more hot water left. I love self-care!

At this point, I’ll feel refreshed. Time to slip into my Sunday best and hit the town! First I’ll need to pick out what I want to wear. Something floral for spring? Something with the shoulders cut out? I know! Something that says “I bought this dress online specifically for this occasion but I’ve never tried it on until just now.” Well, that was a huge mistake – now it’s time to cry on my bed. But don’t be alarmed. It’s just hormones. I’m 226 weeks post-partum.

Dear daughter, this will be your cue to bring me a mimosa. No, I don’t need OJ in it, and no, I don’t need a glass. Please stop asking Mommy all these questions.

After a couple “mimosas,” I’ll be ready to get back on the saddle. I can get back on the saddle because I decided to ditch the dress and just wear leggings as pants. And no one better say one word about how they’re not pants. They’re pants because I put my legs in them, end of story.

Time for brunch! I’ll order an egg white omelet with sliced tomatoes and a cup of fruit. “This is hardly any points,” I’ll announce to the table as I log my meal into my phone. “Weight Watchers is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change,” I’ll continue, as I grab greasy handfuls of tater tots off the kids’ plates and stuff them in my mouth when no one’s looking.

“Hey, who ate all my tater tots,” they’ll cry. I realize there’s a lot more spontaneous crying in this itinerary than you may have anticipated, but why shouldn’t Mother’s Day be like every other holiday?

Once brunch is over, it will be the perfect time to take in the spring air with a long stroll around town. It was a long winter and it will be so nice to just walk around, window shop, and enjoy the simplicity of the moment.

Kids, this is when your legs stop working and you have to go to the bathroom. No, dear husband, I didn’t remember to pack the stroller, I thought we were past that. Please just lug him back to the car and I’ll take her to the most disgusting store restroom possible, where every surface is wet for some reason.

Okay, now everyone’s crying. Let’s just go home and take a nap.

You’ll all fall asleep immediately but it will take me a good 50 to 60 minutes to doze off because the act of relaxation will give me a severe guilt complex, the result of centuries of oppressive gender norms. Rejuvenating!

When we wake up a few hours later, it’ll be dark out and the day will almost be over.

Kids, this is when you’ll remember that you have Mother’s Day projects from school hidden in the downstairs closet. You’ll run to get them. They’ll be covered with construction paper hearts, dried glue, and shaky little letters spelling your names.

You’ll tell me you love me and I’m the best mom ever. I’ll cry some more.

I’ll go to bed that night happy, my heart full.

And before drifting to sleep, I’ll set my alarm. For 6AM.