'don't you neva, eva pull my leva...'
Oldest child (a handsome, strapping, preteen type) - "I have made you this gift and this card." He smiles and hands her a carefully wrapped package and delicate envelope.
(the Mother smiles warmly at her son and remarks at how the perfumed magazine insert shoved inside the envelope makes the card smell of flowers. She glances around the house quickly, hoping to spy some actual flowers and finds none, but that's a small detail)
The mother (voice cracking at the sentiment) recites from the card - "Mom, I love you. You are the best mom in the entire world. There is no one who could ever replace you. Ever. I love you with all my heart. Happy Mother's Day!"
(the Mother then clutches the card to her chest, where her heart, the vessel that delivered life-giving magic in utero, beats purely for her angelic preteen child. She gives the preteen boy a look that seems to say "How did I ever get so lucky?" and "You are an amazing child. Mothers of daughters, please, consider how blessed you would be to have this kind, thoughtful, quiet boy as your future son-in-law and submit your inquiries now.")
Mother - "I love you, son!"
Preteen boy - "I love you more!"
The pair hug.
Preteen boy (clutching cell phone to his chest so unsuspecting friend on the other end may bear witness to the drama about to be unleashed) - "Dylan wants to know...
Mother (busy doing many mother-like things that consume a great deal of her time every evening, does not look up at the boy) - "No."
Preteen boy - "...if I can come over and hang out."
Mother - "Not tonight."
Preteen boy - "Why?"
Mother - "Because I said no."
Preteen boy - "Later?"
Mother - "Is later still today?"
Preteen boy - "Wha?"
Mother (uncorking the first of many sighs that will be exhaled between the pair) - "If I said no now and later is still today, the answer is still no."
Preteen boy - "Why?"
(much discussion and sighing is exchanged between the two, and continues far, far, far longer than the Mother should even allow, but oddly, despite playing this role for nearly 13 years, the Mother always seems to forget the part of this job known as 'Picking One's Battles' and declaring herself the victor, and so the lights go back up on the pair, who have now raised their voices to one another)
Preteen boy - "YOU NEVER LET ME DO ANYTHING!!!"
Mother - "I guess you've already forgotten about last Friday night and how I gave you $20 and a short lecture on wearing your jacket because it was cold that night so you and Dylan could go to the baseball game?"
Preteen boy - "Yeah, well, whatever. That was last week!!"
Mother - "Perhaps all your memories of have been erased, which would explain why it is we now must work on a 3D model of a virus assigned to you LAST MONDAY that's due tomorrow in your science class, by the way, and thus, you don't recall me driving you to Dylan's house after school yesterday and two days before that and letting you stay there until after 9 p.m., because you were, and I quote, 'having fun.'"
Preteen boy - "Can't I just go over for a little bit?"
Mother - "No."
Preteen boy - "Well, then, can I get on the Wii..."
Mother - "No."
Preteen boy - "...and play 'Call of Duty' with Dylan?"
Mother - "Seriously?"
Preteen boy - "WWWWWWHHHHHHHHYYYYYY???"
Mother - "3D model of a damn virus due TOMORROW!!!"
Preteen boy - "WHY WON'T YOU EVER LET ME HAVE ANY FUN????"
Mother - "I'm sorry your life is so awful. I suggest you stop rolling your eyes at me. Ours is a people with weak optic nerves, and I don't want to be the one you blame for your poor eye sight when you're even older."
Preteen boy - "I don't even know what you're talking about!!!!! GOD!!!!"
Mother (muttering herself now) - "It's a damn good thing YOU'RE not supposed to make a 3D model of an eyeball...why, I oughtta..."
(the Mother looks to the Father, who makes his quiet entrance from stage left midway through the discussion between the mother and preteen boy. He ignores her glances and requests for backup, which eventually comes as no surprise to the Mother, for the Father gave her a Mother's Day card that read "Happy Mother's Day from the one who got you into this whole mess in the first place!")
Preteen boy - "I just wanna...."
Mother - "I. Said. NO!"
(preteen boy stomps around the house, muttering words of unknown origin. Many texts and phone calls are exchanged between him and Dylan, the offstage friend. The Mother imagines the preteen boy spewing vile words of how awful she is. She knows the boy's spelling is atrocious, and she shakes a bit thinking about how his texts likely read "I height her!" rather than the more widely allowed "I h8 her!!" She thinks of the Mother's Day card the boy gave her only two days ago and repeats the words to herself - all marvelously and properly spelled and written with care - and smiles fondly, if not a bit sadly. The greatest, most irreplaceable mother in the world hides her smile from the preteen boy so as not to make him think she is making fun of him and the potentially world ending catastrophe he feels he's now going through.)
Preteen boy - "I hate you!"
Mother - "I wouldn't have it any other way."