It all started with a trip to Texas Friday night that felt so much longer than it should have been. For some reason the highway getting there and back, once entering Texas is always a mess of construction. I don’t know if it’s that the construction workers are all too busy watching one guy dig a hole or what, but no job ever gets completed in the span of one’s lifetime, in the great state of Texas. Upon my arrival, my mother in her infinite wisdom decided to pry with me with wine, continually filling up my glass. I appreciated the gesture after a three hour long car ride and a sore behind from sitting without moving for so long. I decided to cut myself off from the flow of Port and go see my childhood bestie for a night out of what turned into being a terribly played game of pool. My best friend and I met each other when I was in Kindergarten and she was in first grade. You can imagine how many bad hairstyles, god awful fashion choices and poor decisions that we have first-hand knowledge of the other. Every time we get together though, it’s all laughs – which is what I love so stinkin’ much about this chick! When we all started scratching every time we tried our hand at another pool shot, we decided it would be best to no longer make complete fools out of ourselves, save our quarters, and go do what we do best, sit and talk. We went to a park where we hid in the shadows, clowning on the midnight joggers and teenagers who looked to be in the beginnings of a bad dance off in the parking lot. Truth be told, we thought for a while that it was a drug deal until they sat there for way too long and then all got out of their cars, dance music blasting and some form of popping and locking ensued. After a 1 AM run to Jack in the Box for some greasy, fried and at the time oh so good food, the yawning started and we said our goodbyes. You know? When I was in my prime years, I didn’t start the night until at least 11pm and didn’t end it until the early hours of the next morning, now I’m dragging and needing a strong cup of coffee if I plan to stay awake past 10 o’clock! It’s pathetic and really makes me miss being young.

The next night my best friend’s daughter and my own had already planned a sleepover that wound up spreading to my nieces as well. Four teenage girls and a toddler who would not leave them alone for a second, all jammed in one house… Oye. They had fun though staying up chatting about boys and whatever else teenage girls talk about. It’s been so long for me that I barely remember, though I do remember that all too familiar hush that quickly falls over the room every time an adult walks in. My dad spent hours that day barbequing all kinds of food and we all stuffed our faces as if it would be our last meal ever. I thought it would be a good idea for us old folks to play Texas Hold’Em in an effort to keep ourselves out of the hair of all of the kids so I broke out the poker chips and cards and syked everyone up to play. My mother supplied the wine and my bestie, she brought a bag of Starbursts that only had the best flavors in it, which turned out to be a must. Whoever thought of putting only Strawberry, Cherry and Watermelon Starburts in a bag to sell, owes me some royalties because I have been saying it should be done FOR YEARS! I chewed to my little hearts content.

Around my mother’s giant dining room table sat, me, my husband, my parents and my best friend. My parents weren’t familiar with how to play Hold’em, however that did not stop my Mom from taking the table for everything we had for several hands. I always knew that my mother was competitive, she always has been – But she was happier than I may have ever seen her while hoarding all of those poker chips. Towards the end of the night it was her and I who had most of the table’s money in a standoff while everyone watched. Conveniently and true to form, after my father had already long run out of poker chips, he felt it was time for us all to settle up and go to bed. Admittedly neither my mom nor I was ready to stop the game, but we promised each other a rematch and said our good nights. I know my mom must have laid in bed for most of the night just itching to get back to the game to make a loser out of me. Yes, she is that competitive. You know the parent who is always screaming loudly at their child’s sporting events? Well that was my mom, while we were kids. My brother played baseball and everyone in the seats knew when my Mom was present. If the Ump dared to call what she deemed to be an unfair call, she yelled even louder. I used to hang my head in shame and cover my face each time she screamed to keep people from knowing that I belonged to this screaming broad in the bleachers. Once they figured out she was in fact my mother, I decided to go to the playground where no one could see me and wait until the games were over. I did however inherit her competitiveness and have already accepted the fact that if my daughter ever plays any sports, I will be the parent banished to sit on the other side of the outfield fence hollering while peering through binoculars.

After my parents went to bed and I got all of the teenagers set up and comfy in the other room, not to mention my rambunctious toddler in her own bed — We not so adulty, adults went to the den to watch a movie. Not five minutes into it, I realized that I was the only one laughing. Knowing how I find the most retarded things to be hilarious I decided to make sure that I really was the only one amused. I turned to look at my husband who was on the couch and he was passed out drunk, mouth breathing and snoring simultaneously. Highly attractive. I then turned to my side to look at my best friend and she was asleep and yet somehow smiling. I figured that was my signal to go to bed and tried my very best to do so. Not too long after, the room was filled with snores, none of which were coming from me as I was wide awake and thinking about how I would ever possibly fall asleep.

The next morning, my father wakes us all up by being as loud as he possibly could be. To his defense it was his house, but when my dad is awake it usually means the whole house has to be. Not unlike when he is also, asleep. Every cupboard, drawer and door that can be slammed, does and by the time you’re ready to pull your hair out from the noise, he is standing over you asking you when it is that you’re going to wake up. You get up, go in the kitchen and literally nothing is out of place that warranted such a noisy experience. I honestly think he just trots in there, opening and slamming everything that he can in order to wake us up. He surprised all of us mother’s with roses though which was nice. Although my toddler dismembered mine on the car ride back home, later that day. We ate a breakfast that my Dad and husband made for us girls and in the afternoon stuffed ourselves to the gills some more with the barbeque, made the day before. After another long car ride home that consisted of stopping every five miles so that our toddler could go potty, we got home exhausted and dawning a bag full of laundry that needed to be cleaned. I forgot that a few days before when I left for Texas, I had started rearranging my living room out of nervous anxiety again and ran out of time to finish before we had to leave. That was a great surprise to come home to. My lovely husband finished rearranging the living room for me, as I was sick as a dog with all of the food I had consumed over the past two days. My mother’s day ended with me puking into a large bowl that my husband laid next to my face before I eventually passed out. We both woke up the next morning covered in chigger bites the size of nickels all over us, which has turned into us furiously scratching our skin off ever since. Ironically enough, it was still one of the best Mother’s Day weekends that I’ve ever had, chigger bites, noise, crazy teenagers and all.

There’s always a lingering sadness on Mother’s Day for me ever since my son passed years ago. I don’t much like the actual day though I do love what it stands for. It was my Mom’s first mother’s day after having lost my big sister, recently as well. For us, it was important to have something good to sidetrack us from the absence of those we miss each day. We were all thoroughly wiped out afterwards, but being together with my family and getting to share that time with my best friend and all of the many kids, was therapeutic in some way. Coming home and feeling mentally rested though physically exhausted is a trade I would make every day of the week if I could!  So many times families only get together when something is wrong. Life gets too busy and we forget the importance of making good memories with each other and enjoying the other’s company. And yet, those times are the ones that we miss the most, long after they are over. I felt lucky to get to share in laughs and conversation, creating memories that I will hold onto. I hope that everyone had their own meaningful form of a beautiful mother’s day and that we remember to always go the extra mile to show the one’s that we love how much they are truly appreciated every day of the week!