‘As You Wish’
You can’t always get what you want. But I have discovered with some proactive effort, sometimes you can get what you wish.
Like most modern moms, I have many responsibilities both inside and outside the home, all of which require 100 percent of my attention and effort, 100 percent of the time. It’s an others-centric existence.
When I shop, even if I start out looking for something for me, I end up buying for others because I feel like they need stuff, whereas I just want stuff. I don’t fancy myself some kind of martyr; it’s just what moms do.
So when Mother’s Day and my birthday roll around each May and June, I typically let others treat me for a change. Breakfast in bed? Sure! Bouquet of flowers? Lovely! But I don’t always get what I really want.
As I enter mid-life, I have decided I would prefer to take the reins on these me-centric holidays. Not to sound ungrateful, but I don’t really like eating breakfast in bed — whose idea was that, anyway? Toast crumbs and sticky syrup on my pillow — no thanks! And cut flowers are pretty, but I’d rather have them from my own garden of low-maintenance perennials.
I tested it on Mother’s Day. I informed my husband and daughter I bought myself a pretty teal KitchenAid hand mixer. They were perfectly fine with that. This new mixer does not balk at chocolate chip cookie dough and is as adorable as a small appliance can be. It makes me smile.
Next, for my birthday this year, I decided I was done staring out my kitchen window at my overgrown flower garden. So I used a couple vacation days to go to work weeding and enlarging those beds. I wielded the pruning shears and mattock with reckless abandon. (I hurt later.) I then bought and planted a bunch more perennials, enlisting the help of my nephew and daughter to help mulch and haul away the brush. Happy birthday to me! Sure, I did it mostly myself, but now every time I look out the window, I smile.
Smiling’s my favorite.
I would call the best part of my birthday this year a dream come true, except it’s something I never even thought to dream. My favorite movie for the past 30 years, “The Princess Bride,” was showing at Marquee’s Flashback Cinema series. I can quote every line, and that is NOT a mommy-blogger exaggeration. My daughter and husband, along with a few friends, sacrificed to see it with me anyway.
Watching my go-to comfort flick — which I’d only ever seen on the small screen — unfold before my eyes, larger than life … well, suffice to say I never stopped smiling.
A signature line from the movie is uttered by Westley, a farm boy-turned-pirate, to his true love, Buttercup. Whatever she asks, he responds: “As you wish.” Here’s to all your (and my) future birthdays, Mother’s Days and Father’s Days: May they all be just as you wish.
Betsy Bethel is the Life editor of The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register and the editor of OV Parent magazine. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.