I admit it. I make a big deal over birthdays and holidays. I am the person that envisions birthday party themes way more in advance than I’d like to admit. I spend my insomnia-tic nights planning menus for Christmas. The reason behind my craziness (besides my overly type A personality) is that I want everyone to feel like the day is important. The honoree of the day should feel special or everyone should experience the magic of a holiday. But what happens when I’m the honoree?
So every year in my adult life, I have made my mom brunch on Mother’s Day. I know she would be elated with a bowl of oatmeal and a cup of tea; anything that she didn’t have to prepare for herself. But I have always created a sweet and savory spread which sometimes included quiche, eggs Benedict, shrimp and grits, freshly made waffles and homemade scones. Or churro French toast bites, bacon & egg cups, vegetable frittata and ham & Gruyere swirls. No matter what was being served up, I had to top it off with welcome smoothies as she came into the room, flowers and a printed menu for a souvenir all while Boyz II Men crooned “A Song For Mama” in the background. Maybe sometimes I went overboard (ok….maybe all of the time), but it wasn’t anything compared to the thousands of home cooked meals, endless hours of advice and tons of laundry that my mom had done throughout the years. A well planned meal was a small labor of culinary skill compared to her lifetime labor of love.
When I became a mom, I didn’t stop being a daughter. So the annual brunch continued. However, my first Mother’s Day, I didn’t have the same excitement of cooking and planning as I did in years past. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to do it for my wonderful mom. But part of me was disappointed. It was my day too. But I didn’t get the churro French toast bites or the freshly blended smoothies. Well, unless I was making it for myself. So my day felt like any other Mother’s Day. I was just a daughter making my mom feel special. Did I expect my infant to do all that for me? No, of course not. But I somehow thought the day would feel different. Besides stopping between whipping eggs and pouring pancake batter to feed my child, I was still busy in the kitchen. Everyone enjoyed themselves at my home that day. I tried to let go of my own disappointment and enjoyed myself too remembering that today was for my mom.
The years that followed were the same. A nicely planned brunch for my mom with me slaving in the kitchen. My mom insisted on me not doing it anymore as she wanted me to relax and enjoy the day, but it was a tradition and it was my gift to her. In time, I know my daughter will understand the true meaning behind Mother’s Day and I hope she will want to do something special for me too. My time would come. It was the perfect example of how women have the hard job of wearing so many hats. We are daughters and mothers and sisters and wives. Just because we take on another role doesn’t mean we let go of the other titles.
I know the nature of my personality is to do something all out. I also know that not everyone is like me. So when my daughter gets older and expresses her gratitude for me in her own way, I will cherish it because it’s from her heart. The gift of being a mother is a beautiful gift that lasts a lifetime. Mother’s Day is just one day to celebrate. Sometimes, it includes a homemade card or a flower made of coffee filters. And sometimes, it includes Boyz II Men crooning over brunch.