Last Sunday, our younger son Kev called to say, "Happy Mother's Day -- I love you, Mom." The calendar (and some perfectly-punctual finger waggers) would point out that my youngest was off by several days. But in my book, his timing was perfect.
You see, I'd been battling a bit of depression -- or, as someone used to say, "a case of the mully-grubs." (I've never been quite sure what kind of grubs eat mullies or if the saying has anything to do with worms ... )
The overcast skies probably played a big part in my feeling so down-in-the-dumps. Ten days of heavy rain, thunder storms, and frequent tornado warnings in our area. Ten days of flooding. Ten days straight with not a peep of sunshine. My son's phone call perked me up and spread a little much-needed sunshine in this Momma's heart.
On Tuesday I had to be in his area for an appointment, so we met for lunch. He greeted me with a shy grin and said, "I messed up, didn't I? Mother's Day is this coming weekend, and I thought it was last weekend." To which I replied, "You didn't mess up. I'm glad to be your Mom every day, and your phone call came just when I needed it."
All three of our children make it a point to call on holidays, birthdays and such. Melissa, as the big sister, would prompt her brothers by calling them first -- to remind them of their loyal-child-loves-parent duty. Then later, when she and I were chatting, she'd ask in an oh-by-the-way voice, "Have you heard from the guys yet?" And I usually had, thanks to her perfect timing.
This Mother's Day, I expect Jason to call me bright and early. (That's one bad habit he learned in the Marine Corps -- thinking if he's up early, everybody else probably should be, too.) So our phone will ring before daylight. I'll pry one eyelid open, struggle to reach the phone and then try not to sound like my head is full of sleep-fuzz.
"Hey, Mom! Did I wake you up!?!"
Perfect timing. This six-foot son of mine has this thing about being the first to greet me on birthdays and other special days. I *think* it might have something to do with what happened years ago -- on the morning of my 37th birthday...
I was combing my hair at the time, and Jason (10 years old at the time) was shifting from one foot to the other. Quietly, as if in deep thought. I could just feel the good vibes between us, knowing he was there to cheer me up since I was growing older by the moment. How sweet!
So I turned, hugged him and smiled, "Did you want to say something to me?"
He glanced up with that deer-in-the-headlights look and responded, "Uh, yeah ... I can't find the Fruit Loops."
Trust, me -- I've never let him live that one down! Since that time, he's made it a point to set sibling records for being the first to call on special occasions. I think he feels guilty for forgetting my 37th birthday.
This coming Sunday, the phone will probably ring before daylight, interrupting some good shut-eye. When I pick up the receiver, he'll be chuckling, "Heh-heh ... so am I the first one to call?" That's when I'll grin around my yawn and take great pleasure in saying, "Nope ... your little brother beat you by a long mile."
Which may not be such a good idea. He'll start plotting way early for November, when my 55th birthday comes around. Somehow, someway, he'll beat his brother and sister and give me the first greeting ... even if he has to set the alarm for midnight-thirty. (Did I mention he's the competitive one in the family?)
As for those phone calls, I'll take them anytime -- one week early or at the crack of dawn, it doesn't matter at all. Even if I know they've been prompted to call by their big sis, I love those husky voices at the other end of the line.
When a grown son calls home to say "I love ya, Mom ..." my heart gives a big ka-thump. Fair weather or foul, when our kids call home-- it's always perfect timing.