Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy mother's day!

It's the 7th mother's day for me.

This time, it's a bit unusual, because it seems that everyone wants me to care more about my special day.

Come on, let's face it, I was born and raised in a country where everyone loves and respects mothers naturally, every single day and every single minute.  We Chinese simply don't need a special day to remember our moms.  I, for one, have never truly cared about this holiday.   

However, this mother's day is a bit special to me.  

It starts from my own kids. 

Last Thursday evening, I saw a big and long poster lying on the top of Zhuzhu's school bag, without giving it any thoughts, I picked it up just like I was picking up her regular junks that she sometimes leaves outside of her bag.  Then I waited for her at the play yard.  After a while, she appeared from another building, as soon as she spotted the poster in my hands, her face changed color, "Did you read the poster?!  You are not supposed to read it and you are not allowed to read it until Sunday!"  She was panicked and clearly assumed that I had read it.  "No, no, I was not even sure whether it's yours or not, I was going to ask you about it first."  I answered honestly and immediately said, "Let's better be hurry, the show is starting now.  Daddy and Niuniu are already there waiting for us."  I rushed her and also tried to get her mind off the poster.  

True.  I was in a hurry to get her to the show, a show to which she has been looking forward.  It is "Charlotte's web", she read the story and would love to see the performance about it by the middle schoolers of her own school!  Thus, it was not too hard to get her forget about her poster for a little bit.  

Then, it's came Saturday morning and as usual, we parents stay in bed late.  When I finally left the bed, I found the kids sat in front of the TV with their weekly dose of PBS on the couch.  After giving them each of my usual round of morning kisses, I snuggled with Niuniu as he is always warn and snuggly.  

"Mommy, I cannot give you anything for the mother's day."  Niuniu said to me sweetly.  Is that the first thing stuck in his little mind?  It's only Saturday, I thought, why he was already worried about this?  "It's not mother's day yet, you still have some time to think about something."  I tried to comfort him.  "No, no, I cannot."  Niuniu insisted, but seeing my not getting what he was trying to say, he added, "It should be a surprise, I cannot make you a surprise on a nonSchool day!"  He was almost in tears!

My poor baby, he was so sad for not being able to please me, I was simply speechless.  While trying to come up with some smart things to say to him, I heard this, 

"Breakfast time!"

Fabrice timely called us from the kitchen so we left our conversation at that.  

Then we saw a plate of heart-shaped pancakes on the table waiting for us.  "Happy mother's day!"  I said to myself.  

"Not yet, but do you want your gift earlier?"  Zhuzhu asked, she clearly could not wait to present me her gift.  

"No, no, I prefer to wait until the actual day."  I said, attentively, as I would not want to break Niuniu's heart knowing he might need the remaining time to come up with something for his mommy. 

Fast forward to the dinner time, Zhuzhu and Niuniu were kept speaking secretly to each others in their playroom, which is close to the kitchen where I was tidying up, I kept hearing "Don't tell mommy" from them.  Acting naughtily, I said loudly, "Hey guys, I am right here, you think that I cannot hear you?!"  They ignored me and continued to focus on whatever they were doing.  

"Dinner time!"  Fabrice was calling us again and then we all went out for a dinner.  This time, he made few heart shaped burgers!  

"Happy mother's day to me!"  I exclaimed again.  

The kids immediately giggled, maybe because they were thinking about the project that they were working on a minute ago.  After dinner, they stayed outside playing soccer with Fabrice, while I was loading the dishes to the washer.  Soon Zhuzhu and Niuniu brought in the house a big box and sat on the floor to start cutting it into pieces.  "I'll go to get a pair of bigger scissors?"  Seeing the tiny scissors in Zhuzhu's hands won't go fast enough, Niuniu tried to offer his help, but Zhuzhu screamed several "Nos" at him.  Finally after few attempts, he gave up contributing and went back outside to kick his soccer ball with daddy leaving the bigger pair of scissors on the floor.

As soon as he left, Zhuzhu switched to the bigger pair of scissors, yet they are the "fancy" kind that can easily be separated into 2 parts and needed to be put back together almost every time she used it.

"May I help you?"  I asked after seeing her struggling with them for a long while.  At that time, I finished my dish loading and began to worry about her little hands getting hurt by those thick cardboards and scissors, "No, you are not allowed to look."  She said.  I could only go out to replace Fabrice to entertain Niuniu so that he could go in the house to help Zhuzhu with her secret mother's day project.

Finally, it's time for bed and while I was sending the kids to bed, I said, "You guys'd better go to sleep early because I would need to sleep early as well so that I can get up early in the morning."  "Why?"  Zhuzhu asked, "Because I need yo give your daddy a haircut."  I told her.

"But tomorrow is mother's day, you don't have to work!"  Zhuzhu emphasized, passionately.

Wow, is there any better gift than that?!

Even I, as someone who grew up without knowing the existence of the mother's day and had never really gotten into the spirit of this holiday, is now completely anxious to see what my kids have prepared for me.

They clearly are affectionate about it.

Until then, let me borrow few of our Zhuzhu's recent art work* to wish you all a happy mother's day!

- top left, "Angry mother"
- top right, "Random beauty"
- bottom left, "The Spring"
- bottom right, "A helpful robot".

Impressive, isn't it?

* Zhuzhu is already a better artist than the both of her parents, particularly better than me, although that was not too hard as I am defective as far as art goes.  I must say though even without artistic eyes, I am already getting a lot of visual pleasure looking at those pieces.  I am truly amazed by the fact that she is able to express herself with drawings and colors at ease.  Her art teacher said to me that she loves the "random beauty" the best, but I have to admit that I love every single piece of art work that she brought home ever since she was 2 - a mother's objectivity.  So, do you want to see what she is giving me tomorrow, let me know so that I can post it here.