Siri, wish me a happy Mother’s Day
Often, from when I get up in the morning, I feel like Siri, the talking assistant on the iPhone. I don’t have a Siri myself, but I know what she is like from those commercials in which celebrities playfully bark orders at her, and she ruefully complies. I like to think I hear a bit of exasperation in her voice (Really, Zooey Deschanel? You have to order out for tomato soup? But now you have to dance around while your apartment is a disaster?).
In my role as family Siri, I am called upon to provide immediate answers to an endless stream questions and requests. For example, from my husband: “What is the weather going to be today?” (Answer: Let me check my phone while muttering, “Who am I, Al Roker?”). “Can you remind me to do such-and-such?” (Answer: a Nagging Alarm has been set for 3pm today). From the preschooler: “Can you play me my favorite song?” I comply, queuing up “Game of Pricks” by Guided by Voices (I know – and yes, I checked, Robert Pollard is not referring to THAT kind of prick – that’s part of my responsibilities as Siri). “Can you play it again? And again?” Yes, at least it’s not some annoying song from Wow Wow Wubbzy or whatever. “How many miles away is the moon?” (Dunno. It’s far. I’ll check.) I am a 3D Siri so I can also locate shoes and lost toys, get food, drop off at school…yes, I’m saying that being a mom is not unlike being Siri. You don’t need a Siri to tell you that.
Sometimes, especially before I’ve had enough coffee, I get a little miffed at my Siri status. You know, stuff like, “Can I finish chewing/dressing/ANYTHING AT ALL before I attend to your pressing requests?” These boys – my two sons and their dear old dad – need a lot from me, and right away. It’s a sprint from one end of the day to the other, and it’s often hard to find time to do anything but help them and care for them. And when you clean up crumbs, say, only for another mess to be made a minute later, or when you end one time-out just to start another, for exactly the same reason, you can feel a bit like Sisyphus, pushing a huge rock up a hill, only to watch it roll back down again.
But, mostly, I remember that the sisyphean aspects of motherhood are only such in the short-term: long days of going back and forth on swings, back and forth to a messy kitchen, to the supermarket, to a rumpled bed, to a grumpy child, add up, in the long term, to a life of happiness. A growing family, a widening circle of friends, vivid new experiences, dozens of new memories daily. And it passes by so fast.
I got an early Mother’s Day present from C yesterday, that he brought home from preschool – it was a really cute little necklace (pictured), with turquoise beads, which he knows I like. One of the beads is a little star. “I put the star on there,” he said, “because it’s a lucky star. Because I am lucky to have you and you are lucky to have me.”
So, always, I am grateful that these lovely boys, all three of them, trust me and love me enough to let me be their Siri, their Sirius, their lucky star, their guide to their everyday lives. And I want them to know, on Mother’s Day weekend, that I love them for it. C, C, and T, you are all my lucky stars. Even though sometimes I might pretend not to hear you when you are asking for something really random. Sometimes you’ve got let old Siri have a bit of space.
Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers, and mother figures, everywhere!