I’ve been privy to these celebrations for five years now as the recipient and a lifetime as a collaborator. While most today are getting ready for brunches in crowded chain restaurants were someone’s food will not be prepared right and someone will spit up on grandma, I have to say, I’m glad we are not going that route anymore.

I’m sitting here listening to Bob Dylan DJ for Sirus radio’s Theme Time Radio Hour. It’s his mother themed show. Presently John Lennon’s Mother is playing in the background of my iTunes. The greatest thing about these 40 songs I’m listening to is the diversity of the mother experience presented. Certainly it suggests that there are good mothers and bad mothers and a whole bunch of experiences that manifest in between.

Today I was allowed to sleep in (yay!) and was presented with pancakes and coffee and fresh squeezed orange juice (okay, I squeezed the juice last night). Sugar and caffeine rush not withstanding, I’m feeling good. The kids presented me with new candles for my altar and husband printed out a photo of the kids I didn’t know existed that’s really sweet. Later I’m dropping off husband and son at the theater while daughter and I go buy paper and pens (I’m a paper and pen fanatic). Simple. It works.

The long distance phone calls have been made to various grandmothers and aunts. The emails have been sent. All is accomplished in a simple (and frugal this year) way.

But the music and the fact that I’m allowed copious hours this morning to contemplate my navel without interruption has me thinking of whether or not I’m a good , you know, mother. Hmmm….

I think one secretly assesses this kind of stuff by comparison. My kids have a roof over their head, they are clean, healthy, well-fed and well-adjusted. This means I must have some of the basics down. But they are also moody (like me), they fight amongst themselves and occasionally swear like truck drivers (like me). The true testament is probably that people who don’t have children always tell me they like to be around my kids.

But the other secret is that often, I don’t enjoy being a mother. I miss complex ideas and thoughts (they are coming back—it’s not as bad as when they were babies and I led a no more than two syllable conversation existence). It would be nice to take off and jog without taking the extra 175 pounds of jogging stroller and tikes. It would be nice to hear the sound of silence without having to stay up until midnight to hear nothing. I miss forming friendships with other women that have nothing to do with the fact that we both have preschoolers. I’d like to meet women who have interests of their own to hang out with sometime. Making friends with other parents with kids is the playdate equivalent of making your kids hang out with the neighbor kid because both are nine years old.

The best mother’s day present could perhaps be doing something that has nothing to do with being a mother. That would truly be a nice break—especially for us stay at home mommy types that don’t get the escape of leaving the house and living in the adult world a few hours a day.

The other secret to mothering is of course that I think (and you do too) that you created the best possible people this world has ever known. You did that. I did that. Good for us. There’s hope after all. They are so much freaking good fun to be around and they get your jokes and they don’t mind if you sing off key. They say you look beautiful when you don’t. You’ve created these bundles of unconditional love. I have too. Isn’t that amazing and worth the wonder and price of admission?

So Happy Mother’s Day, mothers. Let’s keep it real. Out of the suburban restaurant brunches and off of Oprah’s couch. This is ain’t an easy job if done well. And we’re doing it.

Now, who wants to add a little champagne to that fresh squeezed orange juice? That’s what I’m talking…