The inviting smell of freshly brewed coffee wafted up the stairs to greet Rose as she made her way down to the kitchen of the Jackson house. It appeared that for once she was not the first member of the family out of bed.
“Happy Mother’s Day!” Rose’s daughter Jennifer bounced across the kitchen to greet her mother with a big hug. “I was going to bring you breakfast in bed!”
“Aw thanks honey, but that’s OK,” Rose smiled, looking over Jennifer’s shoulder at the bowl of strawberries next to the bowl of whipped cream waiting on the table. “I prefer to eat down here. Every time I eat in bed I end up having to launder the bedding.”
Jennifer let go of her mother and pulled a chair from the table. “Sit!” she ordered. “Coffee is ready and breakfast will be soon. Dad’s just mixing up the waffle batter.”
“Mmm. Waffles.” Rose sat down and Jennifer set a steaming mug of coffee down in front of her. “Nothing like waffles to start the day off right.”
“Well, you deserve it darling,” said Andrew from his place at the counter. “Once a year at least you deserve to start the day off right.”
“I thank you for your generosity,” said Rose. “My gratitude knows no bounds.”
“It’s the least I can do,” said Andrew.
Jennifer laughed. “And you know Dad,” she said. “He always does the least he can.”
Rose took a sip of her coffee. “Wow, that hits the spot,” she said. She set her cup down on the table as Andrew closed the cover on the waffle iron and sat down across from her with his own cup of coffee. Jennifer sat down between them with a glass of orange juice on the table in front of her.
“So, what do you want to do this Mother’s Day?” Jennifer wanted to know.
Rose grinned. “What I do every Mother’s Day,” she said. “Open the fridge and the pantry and look at all the food and then not cook any of it.”
“That’s it? That’s all you want?” Jennifer said.
“Pretty much.” Rose took another sip of coffee. “Don’t get me wrong,” she said. “I like cooking. But the idea of having a day, just one day, where I don’t have to do even one thing in the kitchen just seems like heaven.”
Andrew got up to check on the waffle iron. “That’s all fine and dandy,” he said, “but what about tomorrow when you go back to slaving over the hot stove. Doesn’t this just make it worse?”
Rose thought about that for a second, then shook her head. “Nope,” she said. “Tomorrow I just pretend I’m still in heaven and I just have a kitchen, so I can cook when I want to. It won’t really be heaven if there’s no kitchen,” she added as Andrew set a steaming hot waffle down on a plate in front of her.
“That’s how I feel about my shop,” he said. “It won’t be heaven if there’s no shop.”
Jennifer looked at her parents askance. “Sounds to me like it won’t be heaven unless I get my own place. Without a kitchen or a shop. And with a home theatre and a swimming pool and a stable full of horses,” she added.
Rose spooned a mound of strawberries onto her waffle and then smothered the stack under a generous dollop of whipped cream. “This might not be heaven,” she said, “but it’s good enough for me.”
“Best Mother’s Day ever?” said Jennifer. “It helps that there’s no annoying boys around, right?”
Rose chuckled. “That doesn’t hurt,” she said. “Although it might if they weren’t coming by later.”
“Maybe they’ll explode some eggs for you later like they did that time when they were little,” said Jennifer. “For old times’ sake.”
Rose laughed again. “Probably not,” she said. “I suspect they have a better understanding of microwave cooking than they did when they were six.”
“Probably not that much better,” said Jennifer. “Knowing Brady and Randy, I’m sure they’ve kept themselves as ignorant as possible of all kitchen appliances in order not to have to use them. If it’s up to them, we’ll be having burnt toast and beans for dinner.”
“I’m sure you’re right,” said Rose, “but fortunately for us the boys have something else that makes up for their complete lack of culinary ability.”
“And what might that be?” Jennifer wanted to know.
Rose savoured a mouthful of waffle. “Wives,” she said. “Wives who can cook.”