Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Mothers' Day Memory

G'ma and Daddoooooooo never fought on Mothers' Day. At least not in the morning.

We three kids would be dressed and waiting for Daddoooooooo as soon as the sun was up. First stop was the florist for a gardenia corsage. Wrapped in a big box with an even bigger white ribbon it had the longest pin through the foliage. You had to be very very careful not to touch the flower or it would turn brown. That's why the pin was so long; Mommy wouldn't have to worry about brushing the petals with a pin that big.

Then we went to the bakery for a prune danish. We never bought anything else that morning, though we usually had fresh rye bread and rolls and cookies on Sundays. But on Mothers' Day we were all about Mommy. And only about Mommy.

Home to the kitchen, where eggs and toast and coffee (instant with just enough milk and 1 sweetener in the blue packet) went on a tray decorated with whatever craft projects our teachers had helped us to create that year. Lilacs or forsythia from the garden went in the green glass vase and then we carried it upstairs. Very very carefully. Very very slowly.

She was always asleep when we opened her door. She was always surprised by the tray and the danish and the corsage. She always wore it on her nightgown and then her robe and then her jacket and then her blouse. She didn't save it hanging upside down in the attic nor crushed in the bottom of her lingerie drawer - she was never the sentimental type. But she wore it all day on Mothers' Day.

What I liked most about Mothers' Day was that it was always the same. We knew what to do, we knew when to do it, and we knew what would happen next. No room for arguing or discussion. No one had unfulfilled expectations. Disappointment wasn't an option. Nothing could improve upon the plan. And next year would be just as good.

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