By Kelsey Bilyk
It’s Mother’s Day. My eyes flutter open at 8:00 am sharp as they always do. I know that of all days, this is the one that I can rightfully roll over and head back to sleep. But as I hear the deep breathing of my husband and the singing of my toddler in the next room, marking his own awakening, I realize that it would be more effort to rouse my husband and try to fall back sleep then it would be just to embrace the day. It’s time to get up.
With my two-year-old on my hip, I head downstairs to start the coffee pot. My oldest son, the habitual early bird, is already awake and enjoying some YouTube Kids on the computer. The small twinge of guilt hits me that he is always the first to wake and start the day on his own. However, with some internal assurance, I remind myself that he cherishes his alone time and often will grumble at me if he finds himself in my company first thing. I understand his enjoyment of the peacefulness a quiet house can offer; I only wish I found mine at better times than too late at night.
After a mere 10 minutes, I hear chaos upstairs… loud banging, followed by a panicked trot down the stairs.
“Oh no… no, no, no! Hun, I was going to get up with the kids this morning. Go back to bed; it’s Mother’s Day!”
My husband appears glossy-eyed and half-dressed. For half a second I think I could probably play on this and earn myself an uninterrupted afternoon nap, but instead, I smile and pour him a cup of coffee. As my husband settles into the living room, we all sit together and enjoy the morning. That’s when it happens.
“911. What is your emergency?”
My husband and I look up at each other as if to confirm we both heard the same thing. We look over to our 6-year-old, still happily laying on the floor soaking in the random family fun on the computer. Nope, not him. My husband shoots up and quickly grabs the phone from our 2-year-old.
“Hello? We are so sorry. Our son was playing with the phone and accidentally dialed 9-1-1.”
“Sir, is there an emergency?”
“No, not at all. I am so very sorry. We are just fine.”
As he hangs up, we all stare at each other in shock and disbelief. We had heard of kids accidentally dialing emergency services, but seriously, what are the odds of it happening?
I couldn’t help but think back on this situation as a perfect example of what family life is all about. Often, you awake every day and start your morning in the same way you had the last. Always anticipating the same routine, the same challenges and even sometimes knowing the very hour your kids will be hungry, demanding or tired. Isn’t it funny that every once in a while a curve ball is sent our way? Yes, these episodes can be as innocent as an accidental 9-1-1 call or as complicated as a dash to the hospital, but they are always unexpected. I feel that these moments in our lives come together to be the real story about caring for a family.
No one ever tells the story of waking up in the morning, eating breakfast and then lunch, a quiet nap time and then an ordinary spaghetti supper before bed. It’s these stressful, funny, nerve-wracking and even the sad moments that define us. So, although a small part of all moms waking up on Mother’s Day is hoping for that beautifully relaxing and special day – one that is away from the norm – the reality of family and kids always seems to speak for itself. I believe none of us would have it any other way.
P.S. In case you were wondering, after beautiful homemade gifts from both boys and a necklace my husband swears they picked out on their own, I did get my afternoon nap to round out a wonderfully abnormal Mother’s Day. One that is worth sharing.