I seldom successfully anticipate my wife’s emotions. But I nailed Mother’s Day alright! While we don’t have kids, we do possess a four-legged “child”: Prometheus, our nearly one-year-old Yorkie/Shih-Tzu mix. He may not be human, per se, yet I accurately surmised that Sophia thinks of herself as the mutt’s mommy.
Of course, knowing Sophia would expect me to acknowledge her on Mother’s Day didn’t make the doing easier. I’ve never celebrated this holiday with her before. Nor have I previously toasted the maternal bond between any woman and her canine offspring. With my own mother having passed some years ago, I’ve also grown a bit rusty regarding the Mother’s Day experience in general.
Still, I knew that women ordinarily receive cards, gifts, or special services from their children and spouses on this Hallmark holiday. I’d always pictured a grubby handed kid fixing his mother a barely edible breakfast and serving the bacterial-ridden slop to the unsuspecting woman in bed, along with his handmade, crayon scrawled card and unrecognizable craft project. I’m not sure what the schools have their students creating these days; but during my childhood (in the years before the push to end smoking gained momentum), many twisted lumps of glazed pottery meant for ashtrays adorned mothers’ nightstands.
Prometheus seems a clever dog, but I could hardly see him spinning a pottery wheel for Sophia. Consequently, his lack of opposable thumbs left me in a quandary. What could he make for his mommy, I wondered? Typically, his “gifts” involve solids or liquids expelled from either end, often atop or under my wife’s shirt. It didn’t take a genius to figure the Mrs. wouldn’t want another of those presents!
I hated to admit defeat, but I eventually recognized that Prometheus could not create anything Sophia would appreciate. Proceeding to Plan B, I instead decided to paint my best rabbit with watercolors and offer the completed work as the dog’s. Except, as with many a well-intentioned plan, my design failed in execution. The shock from a sudden and unwarranted bark from my “son” caused me to spill red paint across the paper, and onto the living room floor!
Only after I’d mopped the hardwood did I notice Prometheus … meandering to and fro atop the canvass, leaving a trail of red paw prints in the wake of residual smears from his tongue.
I took the liberty of naming Prometheus’ masterpiece. On his behalf, I dubbed it “Red is my love for mommy!” And guess what? Like every other mother in America, Sophia apparently loves anything her child creates with his own “hands,” no matter how crappy!