After almost getting my wife nothing on Mother's Day, it turns out that I gave her a lot. The list is extraordinary.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms of the world, and especially my wife, Elysha, the best mother I have ever known.

Please remember, mothers, that there's an apostrophe in Mother's Day, meaning it's your day. Don't let anyone else's expectations interfere with your desire to do whatever the hell you want.

It's your day, damn it.

My thoughts also go out to those of us who have lost our mothers, oftentimes making this day bittersweet at best.

I know it's bittersweet for me. 

My plan for Mother's Day was to give my wife VIP tickets to the upcoming Duran Duran concert this summer. Months ago, I asked her what band from her youth would she like to see most, and she said - almost immediately - Duran Duran.

Seconds before clicking the buy button on the tickets, I decided to check with Elysha in order to confirm that we had nothing planned on the date of the concert. It's a date close to our anniversary, and I wasn't sure if our our plans would overlap the concert. 

That was when I learned that she had no desire to see Duran Duran.

Two days before Mother's Day and now without a Mother's Day gift, I panicked.

Now it's Mother's Day morning, and I still have nothing. 

Well, almost nothing.

  • It's approaching 9:00 AM and she's still asleep. This is not uncommon in our home, but I know many mother's who would kill for this. I'm taking credit. 
  • I swept and mopped the basement stairs. This is a monthly chore that I don't think Elysha even knows exists. It's a pain in the ass, and I'm pretty sure that in the eight years we have been in this house, I'm the only one who has ever done it. Doing a chore for eight years without any acknowledgement is worth at least one-half of a Mother's Day present. 
  • I emptied the trashcan and replaced the bag. I often don't replace the bag, because after bringing the garbage all the way to the can, the 14 steps required to put a new bag in the can seems inconsequential to me.  
  • I negotiated a truce in two sibling wars over toys while she slept. 
  • I bought and hid five Mother's Day cards for her around the house. Each one includes clever commentary, including post-it note warnings, a critique of domestic violence, a Clara-induced error, and a warning against clutter.   
  • I bought her five large plastic bins for her sewing paraphernalia. One might argue that this is a git more for me than her, since I'm the one who can't stand to see the sewing stuff all over the house, but these bins will help organize her stuff and make her husband much happier, so that's a double win for her.    
  • I didn't purchase a new sexy Princess Leia costume to replace the one I bought for her years ago but has apparently been misplaced since I never saw her wear it even once.  

I guess I'm not doing so poorly after all.

We'll also be visiting The Eric Carle Museum and taking a walk in North Hampton later today, and we agreed that she could just find something that she wanted there. 

It's not quite the surprise of Duran Duran tickets or the awesomeness of a sexy Princess Leis costume, and in retrospect, she's already received a lot. 

But it's a good idea nonetheless.  

A goal for 2016: An agreement that these parents are awful, disgusting, rotten people

Can we all agree that parents who actively oppose their child's interracial, inter-religious, or same sex marriage are awful people? 

They are still mothers and father, perhaps still worthy of love and respect, and possibly possessing many admirable and endearing qualities, but they are also awful, disgusting, rotten people.

We can all agree to this. Right?

Because if enough of us agree and make our position loud and clear, perhaps these parents will at least be shamed into keeping their awfulness to themselves and stop making their children's lives so difficult.


My son cracked his head open with a lamp. My wife’s reaction to his head wound was unusual but surprisingly typical.

Our boy pulled a lamp down onto his head last night, necessitating a trip to the emergency room.

A little glue and some Steri-Strips, and he was fine. He’ll have a scar in almost the same place where his father got his first scar at about the same age.

image image

Of course, because it was a head wound, it bled like hell. And though Charlie was chill at the hospital (to the point that every nurse and doctor commented on how calm he was, even as the glue was being applied), we also weren’t sure if he had a concussion or any other injuries.

It was a big lamp.

Here’s the thing:

My wife is the best in an emergency. Truly. I was outside on the front lawn with the dog when it happened. She opened the door, poked her head out, and said, “Matt, I need you right now.”

Calm. Relaxed. As if she was calling me in for dinner. 

At the moment, blood had already soaked through one wash cloth and Charlie was screaming like the world was coming to an end.

Elysha didn’t panic. Didn’t even seem worried.

I walked in. Saw Charlie covered in blood. Before I could speak, she explained what happened and set me in motion. “Get my shoes. I’m calling the neighbor. Then the doctor. We probably need to go to the ER.”

She was even smart enough to reroute us to the emergency room slightly farther away that gave us the best chance for quick treatment and a timely exist.

She even remembered her knitting. Gave a nurse a knitting lesson while we waited.

She performed similarly a couple years ago when Clara was having what we thought was an allergic reaction to peanuts. Pulled the car over in a construction zone. Flagged down a police officer. Then flagged down a passing ambulance. Got herself, Clara, and my infant son at the time onboard. The whole time remaining calm.

The ability to remain calm in situations like this is a rare thing, and its value cannot be understated. I tend to be a fairly calm, extremely cerebral person in the face of emergency (a girlfriend once accused me of being emotionless because of my failure to panic in the face of danger), but I actually think that Elysha is calmer and even more cerebral than me.

And based upon his reaction to the thing, Charlie may be the same way.