It’s Mother’s Day morning, and everything is laden with drizzle. There’s a delicious mountain-chill in the air. Pine Ridge, which looms so close and familiar in my everyday view, is entirely draped in cloud, nearly invisible.
Already this morning I have received a creative bundle, two handmade cards and one letter. Renee woke first this morning and immediately stumbled into by room. “Where’s my backpack, Mom?” she asked, in a desperate sort of voice.
“Darlin, there’s no school today,” I mumble, once I’m awake enough to know that.
“I know…I just need something!”
And then I realize that the something she needs is the something she made at school for Mother’s Day, the something she’s hidden from me, the something that meant I could not look in her backpack. And I am touched, as if her small hand has pressed its kiss against my heart. This was her first thought on waking. My dear, sweet girl.
“It’s in the mudroom, on the floor,” I say, pretending to mumble now.
So that when she comes to my bedside cheering, “Happy Mother’s Day!” I hug and kiss and snuzzle her soft face with mine, and savor this bundle of creations crafted for me:
- a butterfly card with pink crystals glued to the tips of the wings– it says, “Dear MOM I will have a prty [party] today. I Love You Renee.”
- And the card with the heart cut-outs: “Happy Mothers day, MOM” “F.R” (which means From Renee).
- And another card, with a picture of she and I, and our house, with the spiral staircase looping up, and written inside with a carefully curled script, ” Dear Mom How are you doing today? I know you are feeling good today. Today is Sunday. Love Renee.”
- Her handprints, in pink paint, with the traditional “these are my handprints” poem
She climbs into bed with me, and she is all wiggly and smiles, warm and fragrant.
Enter McKinley. The boy is alight with mischief, even when his intentions are good. “Happy Mother’s Day!” he grins, and squirms into the bed, wedging himself between Renee and I, which sends her into a small fury. I wrap my arm around him and wrestle him to the other side of me. He is all grins and giggles, that boy.
Moments later Andrew has made coffee, and Rae steps into the room bringing me a brimming cup of wakefulness, and a card. I am already touched by her thoughtfulness. I’ve noticed in the past few weeks that it seems she’s stepped out of the rocky terrain of being a sixteen-year-old into themore confident and adventuresome territory of seventeen. Her hair is thick and pulled into a delicious cinnamon bun on top of her head. Her mosaic blue eyes sparkle. The eyebrow piercing that came with her seventeenth birthday gives her radiant beauty a mark of toughness. I am so proud of her, so touched by the loving words in her card.
Bert knocks at the door. He too, has a gift, a letter for me. Fifteen years old and as sweet and loving as his father. Even his writing is like his Dad’s–the script, the sporadic capitalization, the way his words run together.
And then there’s a measure of quiet. The smell of pancakes–some burnt–wafts up from the kitchen below. The wind whispers the drizzle off the new leaves of trees. The earth of the garden soaks up the gifts from the Sky, and so do I.