Today, she didn’t eat. Not for lack of food. And it wasn’t for a desired weight loss either. She cooked and fed her family. She sat with them at the table as they ate. They passed the mashed potatoes. The gravy boat sailed across her face too many times to count. She got up to serve seconds and thirds. They ate the delicious food she cooked, the delicious food she made with her favorite secret ingredient: love. She poured cupfuls of love in every meal she made. Yet she didn’t eat. Nobody asked her why. Nobody even seemed to notice the lack of plate in front of her.
She smiled as she watched them eat. They licked their fingers. After seconds and thirds they asked about dessert. She cleared the table of its dirty plates and pulled a chocolate cake from the fridge. She asked her family who wanted ice cream. She offered vanilla, rocky road and moose droppings. They wanted fudge drizzle. More, they always wanted more. Yet, still nobody asked why she wasn’t eating. She didn’t offer unwanted explanations.
She watched her family and she smiled. She loved cooking for them. She loved holding spoonfuls of medicine when they coughed and loved putting to good use the sewing skills she’d earned from her own mother to mend torn clothing she bought and they carelessly wore.
She was the mother. The provider. The giver. She loved them without conditions. She asked nothing in return. And in return they offered nothing. They were the family. The receivers. The takers. They didn’t understand the concept of unconditional love. After the last bite of cake, after the last piece was chomped down by a hungry pack of wolves they noticed something different.
She offered a warm loving smile at her family. They suddenly took stock. “For mother’s day I decided to offer myself something special this year” she told her family. It suddenly hit them, she didn’t eat a bite. She didn’t complain about their demands. They suddenly realized it was her one and only day of the year to be celebrated. Instead they asked for more. The youngest one, the bravest one, spoke first “What’s that mommy?” “The special ingredient I made your cake with!” “We all know what your special ingredient is mommy, it’s no secret you but bottles of love in everything you make!”
Again, she smiled. She ran her hand on her youngest’ hair. She loved doing this. Most times when she gave it was almost selfish. The soft cheeks, the angel hair, the happy burps from good food. This was heaven to her.
But today was mother’s day. Her day. Her spoils. Her secret desires she knew only could be met by herself. “Yes sweetie, I always cook with love. But today I added a new secret ingredient to the cake.”
She pulled out a box and waved it in front of her family. They gasped and hiccuped. Again the youngest and bravest was first to speak up “What’s Ex-Lax mommy?”
“I think I’ll go soak in a nice warm bath” she replied…
This is a Magpie Tale. I totally wanted to go full Edgar Allan Poe’ish on this piece. But I just couldn’t do it. Instead I fell upon one of my favorite topic without ever mentioning it, not even once: poop. Oops! I just said it!