LR & Daniel Attempt to Return Mother’s Day to the Mother (It’s Harder Than It Looks)

Every Mother’s Day, we kids gather ourselves together and descend on Mother for what we convince her will be a celebration of her day.

Mother gets the house ready. Mother puts out fresh towels. Mother buys the food. Mother makes the meal. And we show up with a few cards and a few gifts, and we figure we’re making her day.

This is exactly why I don’t understand Mother’s Day. If we’re supposed to be celebrating Mothers, then how come it seems like most of the Mothers I know usually end up doing all the work for Mother’s Day?

My friend Donna always says that if Mother’s Day is really for the Mothers, then the Mothers should get to do what the Mothers want to do. Makes sense to me! But when I picture my Mother, spending her day slaving away over a hot stove, it just doesn’t seem like her version of a holiday.

So this year, Daniel and I decided to do something about it.

Now it’s not as if we’re just ingrates who have been thriving for years on homemade Macaroni & Cheese and brownies and the fact that our Mother seems to believe we wouldn’t come to visit if she didn’t send us home with 10 pounds of leftovers afterward. We have tried to intervene about Mother’s Day before.

The problem is, we’re usually met with a lot of excuses like “Daddy’s going to cook the shrimp anyway” and “I was already headed to the grocery store” and “you don’t have people to your home without providing some sort of appetizer!” So we throw up our hands, buy our cards, and settle into our home-cooked meal. Heck, without children she wouldn’t even get to celebrate Mother’s Day, so we’re practically just as deserving as she is.

But not this year! This year we cook for her! Or at least buy some really lovingly hand-crafted prepared foods.

We begin the planning on Tuesday of Mother’s Day week. Daniel says he’ll bring some appetizers. He doesn’t elaborate, but he has a refined palette for spiced meats, and his wife, Angela, buys cheese with the “rind” still on it, so I trust them. I say I’ll bring some dessert. So, in the end, we’re not even bringing the main course, but Mother assured us once again this year that “Daddy’s going to cook the shrimp anyway,” and by this time it’s already Wednesday, so we just have to take her at her word.

Since I like to experiment with “healthy” desserts that often turn out dry, grainy, and/or lumpy, I reassure Daniel that I’ll bring a “real” cake, made with sugar and enriched wheat flour. I’ll buy a nice one – at Wegmans – like the fancy French kind with fruit on top. Daddy won’t be able to eat it on his special diet, but whatever – not our problem until Father’s Day!

Daniel asks if we even need dessert, but I remind him that if we don’t provide one, Mother definitely will, because “you can’t serve people dinner without dessert!” Honestly, it’s Thursday by now, so chances are she’s already bought three boxes of brownie mix and 2 gallons of ice cream.

Thus we descend on Mother, with the Spiced Meats, the Cheese-With-the-Rind, and the Fancy French Cake With the Fruit on Top.

We bring our plants, our flowers, and our cards. Daddy slaves away over the hot stove, steaming shrimp, and we even get Mother to sit down and relax. She protests, of course, insisting at various times that she has to “wipe the counters” and “check on the shrimp” and “start the vegetables” and “go to the bathroom,” but we force her into a chair, holding back her hands as she desperately snatches at a blue dish cloth.

Finally, we sit down to the Mother’s Day meal – for once not prepared by Mother. We have succeeded! At that moment, Mother, having escaped her chair to “get a drink of water,” reappears holding a steaming casserole dish of Macaroni & Cheese. Daniel and I stare at each other, dumbfounded, like two French commuters who just realized the SNCF train to Avignon is not running again today due to a strike.

And so, like every other year before, we throw up our hands and settle into our home-cooked meal. We’re practically as deserving as she is, right?


4 thoughts on “LR & Daniel Attempt to Return Mother’s Day to the Mother (It’s Harder Than It Looks)

  1. Haha! That was really great!!! You two know Mother is not going to change anything, she must enjoy it but I gotta give you credit for trying. I had a great Mother’s Day, got to see my horse went over my son’s house and he took me out to lunch, then had left over pizza for dinner, no cooking for me! After all Mother’s Day is just another day!!!


  2. PS Love the picture! Back when I was thin and un-gray and you were a curly haired thumbsucker ! The best of days!


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