Sunday, May 13, 2007

Simple pleasures on Mother's Day~


Today's Mother's Day was a far cry from the days when my three kids were little, the days breakfast in bed was served on a tippy tray by beaming children who wiggled beside me and watched me swallow every bite.

No five dollar Hallmark can beat the homemade cards scrawled in crayon, the marigold sprouting in a paper cup, the sticky kisses. I loved those days.

But they were also the days when I wondered who perpetrated this Mother's Day hoax on the women of America. It was mother's day all right. Not only did the routine chores continue-- changing diapers, nursing the baby, doing dishes, picking up the house fall to me-- but there was the added job of hosting the Mother's Day celebration for my mother, my brother and family, and my own family. Nice to get together in the name of motherhood, but what a farce to call it Mother's Day. No rest for the weary mother.

At work the day after one Mother's Day, a new mother was still in a state of shock over the reality of the day vs her expectations. Her visions of being treated like royalty had been erased with the morning sun as she made coffee and fed the baby while eating cold cereal. By the end of the day she was in tears, and was still not speaking to her husband the next day. I don't know if her gift-- an azalea bush-- lived until next Mother's Day.

I thought she was a bit of a princess, but I understood. We all did.

Kids grow up. Change is good. Today was beautiful. A perfect Mother's Day.

I left my husband turning over the garden soil, and drove forty minutes east to walk along Nantasket Beach. Camera over my shoulder, sandals in hand, I shuffled through shallow shoreline water that felt warmer than the brisk breeze. I pocketed five striped rocks for my collection. I took a picture of an older couple at their request. I stood in a tide pool watching a seagull eat something dead-- another gull, it looked like. I watched young and old ride the carousel-- the only reminder that Paragon Park once stood on that site before it was torn down for the condos. I walked for nearly two hours, down the beach and back. Then I stopped for warm carrot and ginger soup, and got a cafe au lait for the ride home.

My husband was still working in the yard when I returned, as happy and relaxed as I was.

Now I sit with a cup of Chai tea heated in the copper-bottom whistler, steeping in a China cup-- gifts from my daughter-- along with the York Peppermint Patty I'm savoring. She remembered I used to love those. I still do. In a minute I'll get into bed and curl up with the book my son gave me. Simple pleasures that make this day special.

3 comments:

Heather said...

Sounds like a lovely day! I miss living on the ocean. I spent a semester abroad in San Sebastian, Spain, and it was so calming. Now I sit by the lake at school, and when I leave here - well - I'll find a new place.

Funny post about the GPS, by the way. I liked that one.

Ruth D~ said...

There is something about the ocean . . . I'd miss being far from it. Although I've never lived right on the shore, I've never had to go far to get to it.

No idea where you're headed, Heather?

Frances Mackay said...

So glad your Mothers' Day was everything you wished for. That carrot and ginger soup sounds wonderful. Will look up the recipe. We banned presents when the kids were young. Instead my husband, Frank, showed them how to do something for me instead. He still does a special something each Mothers' Day. Kids have carried it on too. So my Mums' Day was great too.