May 11, 2009

Mother's Day on the Freeway


My family loves sports, so it was fitting that my husband got me tickets to Saturday's Phillies baseball game for Mother's Day. My husband bought the tickets several months ago and to mark the special occasion, paid extra for seats with backs.

My kids and I spent the entire week planning the outing. The morning of the game, we filled our cooler with sandwiches, drinks, and special snacks. We were so eager to get to the game, in fact, that we left the house without our tickets. Thirty minutes down the road, my husband realized the error and we all returned home to retrieve the tickets from our kitchen counter.

The second time we pulled onto the expressway, we were greeted by every person in the universe, who also happened to be driving into Philadelphia at the exact time on the exact same two-lane freeway built in 1700. Construction delays, ramp closings, and the spectacle of a man urinating on the shoulder made the eight mile trip last THREE hours. By the time we pulled into the stadium parking lot, it was the top of the 8th inning. The crowd was beginning to trickle out of the stands.

"I won! I won!" I screamed, reaching into the almost empty snack bag. At the one hour and forty-five minute mark, it was decided that the last piece of licorice would go to the family member who correctly guessed the inning of our arrival.

My husband did a quick u-turn and got back onto the freeway.
"I'm sorry," he apologized to three hysterical kids. "Happy Mother's Day," he said in my direction.

I began to tear up, not because we missed the game, but because I missed what might be my only chance to sit in a stadium seat that can be accurately described as a chair.


In the end, my husband made it up to me by letting us eat our lunch at a dirty park in the middle of the city. We shared the picnic area with a middle-aged woman who had a fixed stare and a bloody piece of gauze taped to the middle of her forehead. I was in the process of asking the woman if she wanted a sandwich when another woman emerged from the bushes wearing slippers and a plastic rain poncho. Without a word, the duo linked arms and shuffled into a lane of oncoming traffic. We closed our eyes and braced for the inevitable. When we opened them a few seconds later, the pair was on the other side of the street and making their way into a McDonald's restaurant.

***
What did YOU do for Mother's Day?

40 comments

Jennifer said...

I don't mean to laugh, but, that was pretty darn funny. Atleast you took it all in stride. Hope the rest of your day was better.

hbowman said...

I feel MUCH better about my Mother's Day now.

My Life Through My Thoughts said...

Jana, you are too funny!! You are my absolute FAVORITE blog to read. You turn every day catastrophes into sarcastic adventures for all of us to read and laugh. Thank you!!!

Foursons said...

OMG- I totally would NOT have taken all that in stride! I am happy I spent all day at home digesting the breakfast I cooked for myself!

Lindy said...

AND cup-holders?!?! The seats would've had cupholders!

At least you were together and could laugh about it - that's the best part. :)

Becca said...

Ha!!! Okay--that is so fantastic that you WON! Congratulations on that triumph. PIty about the seat though.

As for my mother's day? Well, my cat brought me a mangled, half dead baby bunny and my husband "took care of it" for me.

What great husbands we have.

Carrie said...

I spent my Mother's Day nursing my husband back to health after having unexpected, emergency gall bladder surgery on Friday. Good times, good times.

Jeanette said...

Congratulations on the win!

As for Mother's day... What mother's day? At least my girls remembered me! :) I got a couple handmade necklaces and cards! :)

Anonymous said...

What is this Mother's Day thing all about? Oh yeah that day where the husband informs you that since you are NOT HIS mother he is not obligated to do anything for you, and the kids are on their own for this one. Atleast half the kids are old enough to use crayons and markers to make homemade cards, while painting their own bodies in the process. But I got to spend good quality time with them during bath time, after doing the dishes, mowing the yard, and finishing laundry.

April said...

oh, NO!

my day involved two (yes, TWO!) watermelon slushies from Sonic. so, that was good for me :-)

Anonymous said...

And I thought my mother's day sucked. At least YOUR HUSBAND had plans for you. Mine thought b/c I said not to buy me anything (b/c we are tight on money) meant he didn't have to do ANYTHING. He even took a NAP yesterday! He learned yesterday that he was wrong. I'm making him a list of things he can do for me so he won't make this mistake again next mother's day. :( (But, I did make it up to myself...I bought myself a nice piece of jewelry - not expensive..silver pendant...and didn't tell him!)

Donna

Holly said...

I drove a very long way to get my kids from my ex MIL, cashed my check from my mom to buy said kids DQ for lunch, and then my DH bought my a Blizzard while the kids watched with jealousy. Then I tortured them by NOT putting on a DVD for the very long drive home.

WV: bless. I guess I'll shut up now.

The Mom said...

Kids made me breakfast ( took me until this morning to clean up!) and husband bought me a corsage to wear to church.

Ohhhh, I totally understand about the seats with backs, we go to many Astro's games and only have seats with backs if we get them from work or someone with season tickets can't make it. Otherwise, I am too cheap to spend more them $3 on seats for my kids!

Meagan and John said...

well, I posted about my mother's day miracle already on my blog, let's just say my day started out with my husband throwing a fit but when I finally realized that I had to make my mother's day special and not count on my husband it went better...to best part is it wasn't just mother's day, it was also our 6 yr anniversary, needless to say after the fit my husband threw in the am I didn't give him the amazing anniversary card I bought him at dollar tree, nor did I even open the one he gave me...anyhow you can read about my interesting day at www.lewis4higher.blogspot.com if you want, I won't waste anymore space here talking about it

Julie said...

i am soooo jealous that you got to spend your mother's day on the schuylkil expressway. you have made me so homesick. i know it is old but i didn't really trust your date. so i had to do some fact checking on my own.WIKIPEDIA SAYS...
The Schuylkill Expressway, locally known simply as the Schuylkill,[2], is a freeway through southeastern Montgomery County and the city of Philadelphia.
Constructed over a period of ten years from 1949 to 1959, a large portion of the expressway predates the 1956 introduction of Interstate Highway System; many of these portions were not built to contemporary standards.[3] The rugged terrain and limited riverfront space covered by the route has largely stymied later attempts to upgrade or widen the highway, despite the road being highly over-capacity; it has become notorious for its chronic congestion.[4] It is the busiest road in Philadelphia, as well as in the entire commonwealth of Pennsylvania.[5] An average 163,000 vehicles use the road daily in Philadelphia County,[6] and an average of 109,000 use the highway in Montgomery County.[7] Its narrow configuration, left lane entrances and exits (nicknamed "merge or die") and generally congested conditions have led to many accidents and the highway's nickname of the "Sure-Kill Expressway" or "Surekill Distressway".[8][9]

Tiffany-Joy Mo said...

Oh so sad! So sorry you didn't get to that game, maybe he'll suprise you with another set of tickets, with backs and cupholders soon! Happy Mother's Day!

Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge said...

My mother's day? The day began with an explanation to my husband about how I *KNOW* he can't read my mind, but how much effort does "something special" really take? I mean, *SOMETHING*. Hello? I think he plays dumb just to avoid having to put forth any effort.

Then, to church so I can totally ignore anything going on in order to chain-feed my child cheerios and raisins, in order to keep her from screaming.

And, the day continued with a wonderful trip to Six Flags. With 4 kids. By myself since my husband was working.

The day concluded (as it does every day) with my son wetting the bed. Yes, he's 6. Yes, he's potty trained. And yes, I'm exhausted & frustrated.

BUT I'M A MOM! Isn't that part of the job description?

Sticky (not too) said...

Baseball tickets? Totally awesome gift! Soory you didn't make it...
We spend our day lifting other people's moving boxes. You know how every box has to be picked up like times...yeah, fun times.

Tiffany said...

I spent the day being sick from what I thought was the stomach flu, turned out I am pregnant with our third child. What a gift to find out on Mothers' Day.

WILLIAM said...

Go Phils.

G Love and Special Sauce have a song about I76.

Pam said...

At least this Mother's Day will be a memorable one for you!

pan x 8 said...

It was a great day filled with the Spirit and sweet wishes of a Happy Mother's Day, then I went home took a nap to get away from it all! HA!

I did wake up to a dinner that was not prepared by me, a table not set by me, and children that felt they had to make up for the 2 hours I was napping by one story after another until I said "That's enough! with a sweet smile!

Anonymous said...

Ha ha! It's a wonder that we don't all just give up our expectations of mother's day so we're never disspointed.

I'm still trying to recover so I won't get into the details. Suffice it to say it involves a husband in the corner playing video games while the rest of his family is paying tribute to moms and me without so much as a card (even though I know full well he bought one). After the festivities were over I handed him the blank card that I found on the table and asked him if he had forgot it. He took it from me and said he'd have the kids fill it out later. It's still there at my in-laws on the table...

Ok it's time to lower expectations more and get over it.

Ethington Family said...

I hate to rub it in, but my mother's day was AWESOME! I got some gifts the night before, so the speical ones came the day of. I first got to make rolls for that night's speical dinner, then the cookies that my husband had asked for. Then my husband, bless his heart, made his big huge breakfast he does every Sunday. By the time I finished cleaning it all up, I just had enough time to get my church clothes on and get out the door. My kids were wild during the first hour, but then they went to class & it was great. We got home and my husband said he would make hamburgers. (no need for the rolls) I snuck in and took a nap (highlight) when I woke up, I found the house rather trashed. My husband, I guess had decided to not make dinner and everyone fended for themselves leaving the evidence scattered in the kitchen. I grabbed six cookies and called it good. Part of my tooth fell out (probably from the sugar) and thought made me so sick I couldn't eat another thing. I cleaned the kitchen, and did a little reading before I had to clean up a few more messes. All in all it really was a great day. I took sleep aid and went to sleep early!

Ethington Family said...

Just so I don't sound ungrateful, My husband bought me beautiful flowers, cute flip flops and treated me like a queen. It was just the craziness of the day that made me tired!

Gibbs said...

Wow you took that well..I know I would have been pretty upset! I'm sorry, that really stinks! Big time! I hope your day was still a good one.

Heather said...

so sad. At least it is one that you will always remember. Sorry it didn't end up as you would have liked

Malea said...

Three hours?!!! How wonderful for you. Your perspective is amazing. For my mother's day, I woke up to the fresh smell of chocolate chips mixed with a small amount of dough that was supposed to be a pancake, burnt eggs, freshly picked dandylions, and a huge smile on my four boys' faces who worked together to make it happen....yeh perspective IS good isn't it?

Colleen said...

I got to do the Sunday Scrubdown on the 4 bathrooms that my 3 boys use. Missing their target seems to be a fun game for them. I think I saw one of their names on a wall.
Mother's Day was just that - Mother's Day, where I got to perform all of my mom duties w/ little help and appreciation. It's Ok, at least my bathrooms look fabulous....

Anita said...

Oh Jana, you are so much nicer than me!

Karen said...

Three hours for 8 miles? You should have gotten out and walked!

Ann said...

If I had never driven in Philly before I would swear you just made that up, they do have the most ridiculous traffic at the most inopportune times, we have been in traffic jams at midnight-TWICE! I hope you get a Mother's Day redo next month!

reen said...

Oh come on, that's not true!!
My husband doesn't hear the end of it if we miss a half inning of a Cubs game. You're just to kind!

Melissa said...

my story is on my blog. :) It was an ok day.

The Girl Next Door said...

So sorry the game didn't work out but happy you spent it with a Husband who actually had the forethought to buy you something you'd like - or hell even remember you at all on Mother's day (one of the many reasons I have an EX). Mine was also Mother's Weekend with gardening and soccer and I even scored a goal (what you thought I was talking about the kids' soccer?! Pffft)

Jen said...

I vote that we quit celebrating Mother's Day. Yes, I've lowered my expectations to the point that I don't have any. Now I have to apparently lower them more than that.

Everything else was as usual. I cooked and cleaned along with chasing after all 5 kids. We got to church AFTER Sacrament was over. Good thing too because I didn't want to hear how "wonderful" mothers were.

My husband bragged to everyone at church he was creating some great "feast". I'm still waiting for him to go to the store, buy the "feast" and create it.

Every year is a bonus year but this one was a doozy. The great thing this year was that my husband threw a fit, isolating himself from all of us because one of the kids said he yelled more than I did, and emerged from his room long enough to quickly eat some dinner and tell the kids (referring to me), "She's not my mother. Grammy is."

He threw himself a pity party the rest of the day, went to work Monday and came home all lovey-dovey, expecting "something". I conveniently had a real headache and wasn't interested.

Yep, I'm feeling valued.

I vote we end Mother's Day once and for all. This is my 19th year and it's worse every year. I think I'm spending my day volunteering down at the homeless shelter next year. They'll be grateful I'm cooking and cleaning.

Angi Snyder said...

My son started the day chasing his brother around with used toilet paper and finished it up peeing on the flowers outside the church building while the rest of the family sat inside listening to people trying to speak about Mother's without sobbing. Perfect!

Anonymous said...

Mother's Day, I woke up only to discover my almost two year old son had pink eye in both eyes, so there went church. On top of this, my husband had sprain a muscle on Friday and was so sore he couldn't hardly breathe, so he whined all day long while I still had to do everything around the house while I listened to the other children fussing and fighting. To top the entire day off, at 7:45pm, my two year old bust his head open on our brick fireplace so I had to spend the remainder of the day at the ER! He walked away with two stitches....I didn't get a card or anything! I can't wait to see how Father's Day goes!!! LOL!
Jeanna Caldwell
(mom of six)

Anonymous said...

My husband let my son pick out two bunches of flowers, one for me and one for my MIL, who we were meeting for lunch. DS ended up picking one that was pretty much wilted, while the other was fresh and perky (and of course he did nothing to dissuade DS from getting a wilted bunch of flowers because it was 'his choice'). Guess who got the wilted flowers and who got the nice fresh ones? Go ahead, just guess. And then you can guess who made dinner and picked up the mess - it's not far from what other people have said here. I'm thinking I'll conveniently book a spa treatment for myself this Father's Day. His gift will be my absence.

Elizabeth said...

Hmm, I got some moments of peace by going to Home Depot for a lovely R-maid deck box - wore my iPod so that no one would try to help me.
In your shoes I would have been completely hysterical and saying "why didn't we take the train???"