Wednesday, May 14, 2008
So, has everyone had a nice Mothers' Day? Mothers' Day is rather a non-Holiday in our house as I, the resident Mother, think it's kind of silly and wouldn't miss it at all if it were abolished. Mothers' Day is usually a day full of frustration, obligation, fake smiles and me asking myself, "WHAT am I doing here?" Fortunately, my own mother is of a similar opinion concerning Mothers' Day so years ago we (as the only mothers in the family at the time) decided to do away with the traditional celebrations. For years we packed everyone up and went out for a picnic instead. We got to spend time together, enjoy some fresh air, hopefully have some fun, and we exchanged NO CARDS. It was delightful, a breath of fresh air.
That worked very well until my Evil Grandmother of Doom moved back from Florida. Unfortunately, she is the, "Take me out to brunch, get me an enormous card-I don't care what it says as long as it sprinkles glitter all over my Mothers' Day corsage (and there damn well better BE a corsage or I may threaten to cut you out of my will--oh yes I will!) when I open it-and follow behind me bowing your very showy thanks for giving you life every three steps we take" type. Aye me. Thus ended our merry, anti-Mothers' Day observances.
Now we're back to going out to lunch with EGOD (and, no, that's not really her, just an interesting facsimile thereof), always at an Italian place. It has to be Italian cause she's Italian and don't you ever forget it. She always harasses the waiter (until she's had a bit of wine and then she starts flirting with him--honestly, I don't know which is more horrifying to watch) and orders the same thing: pasta aglio y olio, pasta with butter and olive oil, which she has to order "in Italiano" but horribly mispronounces as a squawked, "Ah-Yo-Yo". Great ceremony is made of the exchanging of cards carefully chosen so as to avoid lying completely through one's teeth. I can never, in good conscience, bring myself to buy the ones that say things like, "You fill our days with sunshine," or "Your wise and caring spirit sustains all who are blessed to know you," or "The world has never known a more selfless, gentle soul," in good conscience. During the white-lies exchange, I'm always thinking, "These are just painted pieces of paper filled with someone else's words for which we've all paid way too much money." As you can see, I'm not a girl who needs cards. Give me something I can use. Or chocolate. That always works.
Mothers' Day on The Viking's side of the family is a bit of a farce, too. We go months without seeing them and have no real relationship with anyone but his brother's family, but on Mothers' Day we have to send these saccharine cards full of fervent, throbbing gratitude we don't really feel to his mother and grandmother. And because we don't live near them or see them on Mothers' Day, The Viking has to call them. Which is all wonderful when you consider the alternative. I cannot imagine having to spend that day (I'm sick of typing it out) with The Viking's family. What. A. Nightmare.
That being said, the kids still get into both Mothers' and Fathers' Days (Fathers' Day is marginally better than the other because neither of us have grandfathers living any longer and neither of our dads have the histrionic tendencies the women in our families tend to have), so we enjoy it for their sake and, indeed, because of them.
This year, it just so happened we were in New Hampshire and more than 300 miles away from EGOD and all our usual Mothers' Day obligations. We attended a surprise 60th birthday party for my aunt, which happened to fall on the day before Mothers' Day. So we were free to do as we pleased. It was actually pretty wonderful as Mothers' Days go. No uncomfortable lunches, no obligatory, meaningless words, no glitter!
The day started with my husband and children presenting me with a bottle of perfume that Redheaded Snippet had overheard me say I liked the day before. It smells of lilacs and I love it almost as much as I love the fact that my Snippet's little scout ears caught my casual remark and made a point to relate it to her father. Then Redheaded Snippet bade me open the thick envelope she had propped importantly on my vanity which had been grinning tauntingly at me for almost a week with the message, DO NOT OPEN UNTIL SUNDAY emblazoned upon it. She may be almost a teenager, but she's still so much a girl in so many ways. The letter read as follows (with some personal information altered to protect the innocent):
First of all I'd like to wish you a Happy Mother's DAY! (even though I know it wasn't that happy for you in some past years! haha!) But this year I am going to make a change to that. When I think about how much you do for me and how much you sacrifice for me, it kills me inside that I'm not showing my gratitude towards you 24/7. I'm sorry for times when I just plain old don't listen to you. The Bible says to honor your mother and father...I know I don't do that as often as I should. I want to thank you for all of the meals you cook and for keeping a "tidy" house (ha). I want to thank you for bringing me every forgotten music book or shin pad. I want to thank you for being The Best Mom in the world. You have taught me everything from little things like teaching me how to tie my shoes, to teaching me how to take care of my future family. And yes, I will take care of you when you're in the loony bin! Don't worry! haha! Sure we may have our occasional mishaps, but through them I learn and I grow stronger with you. I couldn't be more blessed. God has put me here for a reason. Part of my success in life will be from you. If I never had you in my life...who knows where I'd be. Probably...In a van Down by the River! HAHA! You are my role model. You are doing a FANTABULOUS JOB! hehe! I see the difference in me from other kids and I begin to realize that it's because I've learned from the best. Sure you may have your faults, but that shows me that you are HUMAN (even though it may not seem like it at some times.) LoL! JK! oops I mean "just kidding" Mom you will always be the person I look up to for boy issues, girl problems, me issues and just to chat. I LOVE YOU MOM. From the bottom of my heart, you mean Everything!
From your super star Daughter!
[Redheaded Snippet] <3
A.K.A...Flexicon (ask me later), Dorkhead, and (my personal fav.)
Let me tell you, I laughed, I cried, I cheered. I think it's my favorite letter to date. And it's so full of her. Her bubbly, sweet personality shines through every phrase.
Man-Cub, after spending countless days mysteriously sneaking down to the basement to hammer, sand and paint, presented me with a personally hand-made plaque complete with rubber bands stretched over nails in the shape of a heart. It's the sweetest thing.
After the gift-giving and going to church with my aunt and uncle, we took the kids to one of our favorite fun-spots in New Hampshire, Cold River. We used to go there when my sisters and I were kids. We'd put on old sneakers and old clothes and spend the day splashing in the river, slipping on the rocks, trying to catch minnows with our hands, scaring waterbugs, avoiding cow plops. Now that I have kids, I like to take them there when we get the chance to visit and I love that they love it.
As you can see, Man-Cub went a little Lord of the Flies on us, but, thankfully, no one was harmed in any way. We haven't had any good photos of the four of us in a long time so our deep and sincere thanks to Daria for taking them (she's pictured in the Wellies, claiming that rock for Scotland-though she has no flag-by the way. Daria, I still envy your lovely, slim calves)!
So, in spite of it all, Mothers' Day turned out to be lovely. We sat and drank in the sunshine and fresh air at the river and made it home from New Hampshire in record time later that night (5 hours)! Of course, The Viking lost his cell phone on the banks of the river, but my ever-intrepid uncle was able to track it down with his mad hunting skillz the next day and it should be arriving back to us sometime today. Yay!
Well then, I'm off to fix some lunch and enjoy an hour of my favorite cooking shows. America's Test Kitchen and Everyday Food are coming on!