“Is your boss at work tomorrow mum?”
A little voice came out from under the doona as I fluffed around my boy’s bedroom getting things ready for bed.
“Yep” I say.
“That’s good” comes the reply. “Can you please ask him if you can have a day off?”
With a smile I begin the usual explanation about why mummy has to work. Giving numerous examples of what the money I earn pays for from keeping the house warm by paying the power bill to buying birthday and Christmas presents etc.
I also reminded him that Saturday and Sunday are my days off.
He then reminded me that I still work on the weekend, it’s just that my job is… “wiping down the benches and typing on the laptop”…so those days don’t count.
What this kid wanted was for his mum to have a real day off. Where all day would be spent with him, doing ‘kid stuff’ – not answering emails or cleaning the kitchen.
Deciding I was not going to give him a good enough reason why I could not have a day off, I kissed him goodnight and made a quick exit.
Folding the washing, the sound of little feet could be heard coming down the passage way.
With his soccer money box in one hand and a pile of coins in the other, he peeps around the lounge room door knowing it’s a big chance he’s taking getting out of bed!
“I have 17 dollars and you can have it all to pay for the bills,” he says. “Now you can ask your boss for a day off tomorrow.”
I could feel the tears coming as I looked into this little face.
His 17 dollars was actually 17 coins amounting to a little over $4. But it was his entire savings.
My son was prepared to give all he had to spend just one full day with me.
I had to ask myself the question – what was I prepared to give to spend one full day with him? Was he worth one day’s annual leave? Or perhaps a messy house and unanswered emails on the weekend.
So this Mother’s Day will be my day off. And it won’t be about staying in bed and having breakfast delivered. Instead we will get up early and watch kids shows under the blanket on the couch.
It won’t be about having a fancy lunch out but rather making a huge mess in the kitchen while we make pancakes together.
And I won’t be lying on the couch this afternoon watching my husband do all the cleaning as all good husbands should do on Mother’s Day. Instead we will build a fort taking up the entire lounge room while eating popcorn which will spill all over the carpet and not be vacuumed.
Then maybe we will take my $4 and buy some hot chips for dinner.
Now that’s a Mother’s Day to remember.