I can hardly believe it, but we’re down to less than a week before moving day. I’m overwhelmed and excited and sad, all at once. OVEREXCITAD. (What? It’s a legitimate condition that requires frequent medicinal dosings of Bagel Crisps.)

Listen, I have some questions for you, should you feel like offering some advice.

• For 10 years, we’ve been in this house. Two remodels, two children (projects that are nearly equal in expense and stress, I must say), countless days sitting in the yard and enjoying our cozy little yellow house. I’m eager to see what adventures await us, but I’m terribly bittersweet about saying goodbye. Do you have any ideas for capturing mementos of a home? I’ve taken a bunch of photos, of course, but … I don’t know, maybe rip out a chunk of the foundation so I can scrapbook it into a I’M JUST KIDDING but seriously, any thoughts?

• Riley’s last day of school is on Friday—he’s leaving about a month before the school year ends, and I’d like to send something into class to mark the occasion. Usually birthdays are celebrated with cupcakes or similar treats, and that seems like the easiest way to go, but, well, any other ideas that don’t involve me spending $500 (there are around 26 kids in class) or cooking anything (because 1) NO and 2) all my kitchen shit has now been wedged in like 45 different boxes that are all helpfully labeled KITCHEN)?

• Do you have tips, in general, for move day? I’m thinking I should put the stuff we’ll want right away (IE, all the stuff that has yet to be packed now, like frequently-used clothes, toiletries, toys, and the coffeemaker) in special boxes so I can unpack those right away, right? Can the cat just be wedged in a cat carrier for the drive down (5 hours or so)? We have some movers hired to help us load the truck, should we also hire helpers to unload or does that part tend to go a little easier?

• Do you have any Xanax I can borrow because honestly these Bagel Crisps only do so much?

The official Mother’s Day photo:


and the follow-up, just-for-the-fuck-of-it photo:
Screen shot 2012-05-15 at 8.49.26 PM
It smiles on command or it gets the Mini-14.

I don’t love Mother’s Day, do you? God, the pressure. Social media, in particular, has shaped this so-called holiday into a sort of competition. You can say it doesn’t exist, but it’s there. Who got the most thoughtful gift? Who has the most beautiful photos?

I’m not exempt at all, in fact, I use Mother’s Day as the one date per year when I absolutely demand a photo of me and the boys. It always, always turns to shit—grumpy expressions, increasingly irritated demands—and what the hell, self. If Mother’s Day should be about anything, it surely shouldn’t involve me blow-drying my hair and barking at my kids.

It seems a little bogus, this idea of forcing loved ones to momentarily stop taking for granted all the mothering mothery things we do, and to be honest, I don’t want picture-perfect gifts or bed-breakfasts. If anything, I’d love a hotel room to myself, with a pile of shitty magazines and 11 PM room service.

We’re not supposed to want that, of course. How awful would that be, to ask that our one gift be this: to shed, briefly, the confines of motherhood? To utterly abandon the expectations of living a perfect family life and dive wholeheartedly in the direction of pure selfishness?

(Ahhhhh, but still.)

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