Breakfast in Bed? No, thank you.

This year Mother’s Day has suddenly grown in importance—and not because it’s my first as a mother of two. For the first time, Leo is in preschool.

Our 4-year-old has spent the past few weeks preparing for a holiday I enjoy because it’s typically a night off from cooking. My expectations as far as gifts, cards, and other celebrations are fairly low.

Leo, on the other hand, has enthusiastically embraced the whole Mother’s Day premise. He thinks it’s the equivalent of my birthday. He has been wrapping his toys in boxes, singing “Happy Birthday to You” over and over, and throwing his arms around my neck in sweet, spontaneous hugs. He could barely wait for the day this week when he would present his Mother’s Day creations to me.

And, I must admit, my curiosity was increasing as the countdown continued.

We arrived at his school for the official Mother’s Day breakfast and I found a bag full of goodies: a hand-painted wind chime, a framed photo of my cheesing son, a card he had made and signed, a painting of flowers with his green handprints as the flower stems, and a gift bag he had decorated himself.

Then there was the piece de resistance.


I love our boy’s drawing of me with enormous hands and a happy smile. The other half is a standard premise, asking children questions about someone or something. But this was my first time hearing Leo describe me.

It turns out he’s a good guesser when it comes to age—shaving just a few years off for good measure.

He believes I love making and eating eggs, so I guess we know he’s not a reader of my blog. He was right about one thing: I do love making them—because he and his brother enjoy eating them.

And thank goodness he answered the prompt “Mommy always says” with “I love you.” I felt a bit weak thinking of what he could have said: Mommy always says…“No, you may not have a snack. You can wait for dinner” or “Why are there so many cars on this road?” or “Oh, dear. I hope we have enough gas to get to Grandma’s.”

So many days I feel pulled in different directions, trying to be a supportive wife, the loving and nurturing mother of the two children God has given us, and an industrious employee. It seems that I fall short frequently as I try to give our sons adequate attention, guidance, healthy food and exercise, discipline, and patience.

But when I looked at this list, I couldn’t help thinking that Leo is seeing and experiencing love even in the harried moments. Maybe our boys have different expectations of their parents than we do of ourselves. After all, if Leo could buy me anything in the world, he wouldn’t pay for a personal chef who makes sure the milk is always organic or a maid service to keep the dust at bay or even a high-speed bullet train to take us from home to school and work.

He would buy me the perfect gift, a gift marvelous in its simplicity and easily enjoyed: a banana.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.