I'm going to let everyone in on a secret.
I completely forgot today was Mother's Day. I hate to admit it, but it completely slipped my mind this year.
Normally, my sister and I, and sometimes even my brother, have discussed it a few times by now and have a pretty solid plan in place.
Not this year.
I could blame some of the extra hours I've been working and higher-than-usual anxiety as a result of a recent project, but no, this one is on me. It's "my bad," as some of the younger generations say.
Sorry mom. I dropped the ball on this one.
I usually try to do something, even if it's just a small token. Some have been good, others have been OK and a few have been memorable for the wrong reasons.
I've been known to sneak up to a local store and buy a couple hanging baskets of flowers, or, at the very least, a card.
My mom always says you don't need to get a present, but you should always at least get a card for a holiday or other special occasion.
That probably isn't going to happen this year.
It's not the first time, either. But at least on those occasions, I've been able to get away with a hug.
Last year, we came up with a pretty decent plan. It wasn't anything fancy, but it was a nice way to spend the day.
My sister and I drive our mom up to the Pittsburgh Zoo. None of us had been there in years, but it had always been something we did as a family. We thought it would be nice, just walking around for a few hours and looking at the animals.
After getting turned around a few times in the streets of Pittsburgh, we found our way to the zoo's entrance and went to pay for our tickets.
That's when we found out they had a special Mother's Day price: all mom's got in free!
I was accused of being cheap.
So, we ended up not having to buy her ticket to the zoo. At least we didn't buy her a funeral wreath for Mother's Day. (True story. If you've never heard it, you should track down some of our community editor, Summer's, old columns.)
I've had a lot of great experiences with my mom, so I?do feel bad for forgetting.
She once drove me all the way to Charleston just for a Star Trek convention. I don't know that she's ever watched an episode of any of the shows, but she went.
We've explored New York City together, spent Tuesday nights watching NCIS, or just sat out on the porch doing absolutely nothing.
She has gotten up an hour early every weekday morning just to have breakfast with me. That's big since I'm in the office by 5 a.m.
We often work together shoveling snow in the winter, mowing grass in the spring and summer and getting rid of leaves in the fall.
Even though most of my childhood camping trips involved my dad, I'm pretty sure my love of the outdoors came from my mom.
She probably also is the source of my enjoyment of reading. I've often noticed times where the two of us will be sitting in the house, book in hand, just focused on the words on those pages.
She works hard, putting on long hours at her place of employment, and then, some days, going off to help with some group to plan one of their events.
That kind of work ethic is something else I've probably inherited from her, at least in part as my dad was also a hard worker who found ways to give back to others.
Which, pretty much brings me back to where it all started.
Mother's Day just slipped my mind with everything else going on this year.
So, I'm sorry. This year, there won't be any well-meaning trips to Pittsburgh, a picnic at Oglebay or any other big surprise activity. That is, unless we're able to come up with a really great idea between my writing this Saturday afternoon and sometime Sunday morning.
Maybe she'll be OK if I?make breakfast.
(Howell, a resident of Colliers, is managing editor of The Weirton Daily Times, and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or followed on Twitter @CHowellWDT)