What I’d Love From My Boys This Mother’s Day

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    Dear Sauls Boys (and I’m counting ALL of you as boys right now, even those over the age of 40),

    As Mother’s Day approaches there’s a lot being written about sister-wives. Seems that many of us women have decided that we need a sister-wife to help us out with our daily mom existence – someone who can run carpool, someone we can borrow clothes from, someone who can edit our latest work report and even swap frozen casseroles with.

    Let me be clear: I don’t want a sister-wife for Mother’s Day. Because sweeties, if I got a sister-wife for Mother’s Day, I might also buy one of those cute tiny houses you see on HGTV, park it in our driveway, and watch the chaos unfold as I left all you menfolk in the big house to fend for yourselves.

    You see, I already have sister-wives. I have a tribe. I have girlfriends. I have my sisters who eat chocolate and drink an occasional (not often, I promise you) glass of wine with me. I don’t need a sister-wife … I just need some help and for y’all to use some common courtesy!

    So, to save us all from this sister-wife trend, here’s a short list of what I’d like for Mother’s Day:

    I want you to flush the toilet. Putting the lid down is negotiable … after all these years I’ve learned to look before I sit.

    I’d like a bathroom door that locks. Actually, I want just one shower or bathroom visit without one of you sticking your head in to ask me a really, really, really important question that just can’t wait.

    I want you to turn your dirty socks and underwear inside-out. I’ll wash them, but I’m really tired of having to rub all over your really dirty and smelly clothes.

    Please put the milk back in the fridge and close the loaf of bread. Seriously guys? C’mon … my sister-wife is laughing at you from a distance … why do I even have to type this?

    Keep your stuff out of my space. I gave you a man-cave and your bedrooms. There is no reason your lacrosse sticks, baseball bats, and lego people should spill into the living room, onto the kitchen counter or into my bedroom. No reason at all.

    Forget the brunches, forced gifts and kitchen gadgets. Stop buying me stuff to ease your guilt over what I don’t get the rest of the year. If I want something (which on occasion I actually do) I will either buy it myself or drop a really loud hint for you (I’ll even tell the clerk at the store to be on the lookout for you so she can help). For the love of all that’s motherly, just offer to run carpool, clean out my car (after all, you messed it up), cook dinner, water the dying flowers or hang up the wet towels on the floor.

    Or buy me a tiny house – with a bathroom door that locks.

    Love,

    Mama

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    Lila Anna is the happily unbalanced mother of five boys. She is an advocate for homeless families, a recovering triathlete, and a sleep deprived 40-something who doesn’t see her yoga mat enough. She was blessed enough to have three wonderful boys (Michael, 14, Colin, 12 and Aidan, 10) … then, after a seven year break and just as she turned 40, got what she calls her “buy one, get one free babies,” Heath and Graeme (now 3). Once fiercely independent, Lila Anna now relies heavily on the help, kindness and understanding of a very loyal group of friends she calls her “village.” This village allows her to dedicate her heart and time to Trinity Housing and St. Lawrence Place – the non-profit for homeless and at-risk families she leads as President/CEO – all the while managing to run a house full of baseball and football schedules and four different carpools. Lila Anna is passionate about all children, especially those living at risk or in poverty. She treats her St. Lawrence Place children as her own, and advocates for them at the State House, at City Hall, or on any given street corner. Her position at Trinity Housing gives her the chance to give homeless families and their children a voice. She has been a guest lecturer at USC and Columbia College, and has presented nationally on the topics of child poverty, education and family homelessness. She is a native of Springfield in rural Orangeburg County, home of the Governor’s Frog Jump (thus her frog tattoo), and is a graduate of USC with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications. She got her Master’s from Columbia College in Organizational Change and Leadership, and graduated a few weeks before giving birth to her twins. Her five boys are just like their daddy, “Saint” Brad – fun-loving, even keeled, and incredibly helpful. She enjoys cooking with the help of at least one set of small hands, running (slowly) with friends, and daydreaming about her next trip to Edisto Beach or New York City. One day she hopes to compete in triathlons again in the Athena division (thus her owl tattoo). Most of all, she loves just hanging out with her boys…all six of them. Lila Anna and her boys live in Forest Acres, where they are two blocks from the ballfield and no more than 10 minutes away from everything else. She is happy to share how she embraces her unbalance … and all the fun and love that comes with it.

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