Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Making Mom Happy on Mother's Day

Some mothers get elaborate Mother’s Day cards, bouquets of flowers, and the night off from cooking.

But some mothers just have to be different.

For years, our mother has complained about Mother’s Day cards. She grew up during the Great Depression. At a time when shoe leather had to stand in for steak, paying five or ten dollars – or even the 1930s rate for greeting cards – was unthinkable.

To Mom, it’s still an unthinkable and unnecessary expenditure. There was nothing that made Mom more unhappy than getting a Happy Mother’s Day card, with a lovely picture on the front, some poetic sentiment about motherhood in the middle.

And an obscene price on the back.

Finally, we just gave in. She said she would pick the card she liked best from the ones we’d given her over the years, and set it out each year to admire it. That’s all she wanted.

As a result, Mother’s Day is a much happier occasion for my mom. When I called her up, she exclaimed, “Thank you for my card!! It’s sitting right here on the table!!”

I had to stop and think, “Wait! What?! I didn’t send her a card because she didn’t want one.”

Then I remembered.

This year, we rode up to my older brother’s house, where he was wrestling with a giant, 90-foot oak tree that landed on his doorstep yesterday. No one was hurt, and there was no structural damage to the house.

However his power was out, and being such a cold, windy day for May, his house was freezing. So except when she ventured out to check on the progress, she sat in my toasty warm car instead.

At lunchtime, we ordered pizza. I allowed my brother the honor of the driver's seat so he could sit next to the guest of honor. We had quite a picnic of it.

The neighbors, friends of ours and some former in-law relations of my brother's, thought it was rather strange and invited Mom to sit in their palatial new house, which she hadn’t yet seen but wanted to, so she accepted the invitation, where she savored a steaming cup of hot coffee.

Still, it was a cozy Mother’s Day picnic we had. Not one we’d want to repeat. But one that will certainly go down in our family’s annals.

(Mom is seen here giving a tour of the house and the tree that came to dinner.  She wouldn't be happy about her picture appearing online.  Happily, she doesn't want to spend the money to get a laptop computer, so she'll never see it!)


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