Mother’s Day is fast approaching. The pressure is on from the marketers to recognize those women in our lives who nurture us. But how does one properly do that?
I send my mom a card every year at Mother’s Day, saying how happy I am for the times we have shared and the many important things she has taught me.
It doesn’t do more than cover the tip of the iceberg, however. How does one say that the best thing someone else did for them was let them be themselves?
This year, instead of getting messages in my Inbox about where to take my mom for brunch, I am getting emails about how to send her something from Etsy or suggestions of virtual classes we could take together.
It all sounds lovely, but not nearly enough.
One of the things my mom taught me early on was that personalizing a gift is what makes it special. Going for brunch or dinner was delightful, but she loved it even more when we cooked something ourselves.
I have written before about the chocolate mousse my brother and I made that had a teaspoon of “strong coffee.” In our childhood wisdom, we thought that meant a heaping spoon of coffee grounds. Mom told us she liked the extra crunch.
I love you, Mom.
When we made our first crescent rolls, she admired our rolling skills. Thankfully, she hadn’t been to Paris yet to have a real croissant for comparison.
I was so glad when I got to share my love of French food with her on a spring trip to Europe when I was 19. It felt like I was making up for past sins of the palate.
To this day, we share happy memories of fresh strawberry tarts, crêpes from street vendors and the hole-in-the-wall cafés of the Left Bank.
We have shared many food-and-drink events together over the years:
- A champagne tasting at the Vancouver Playhouse Wine Festival (we learned how to open a bottle with a saber)
- Spanish tapas and wine in the basement of a tiny Seattle bar we found long before there was Google and Trip Advisor
- Delectable fresh sourdough and seafood chowder (and wonderful shopping, too) at the Pier in San Francisco
- Amazing barbecue at a place in New York City that was so small it was only known by the name of the street, Great Jones Street
- Paella at a summer long table dinner at Miradoro restaurant in Oliver.
This year, as it was last year, our celebrations will be virtual. We will take turns describing the delicacies we have prepared with each other in mind, looking forward to when we can share them again at the same table. We will clink glasses through the screen.
We will probably send recipes via email. Some of hers are posted on my blog — just look for “Nancy” or “Mom” in the title.
Since last March, Mom and I have been meeting on WhatsApp for a video call once a week. Many times, it has been the highlight of my week, getting to chat with her.
I took her on tours in the garden during the summer and showed her my Christmas decorations in the winter. She oohed and aahed and applauded my efforts, and it was almost as good as a hug.
My mom has always been a good listener, and she loves a good debate. We have worked toward solving the problems of the world many times. If only we had taken notes, things might be different in the world (or so I thought after a few glasses of wine.)
Maybe to thank her for Mother’s Day, I should just send Mom this column. Perhaps if she knows how much the memories have meant to me, how important it was to learn the magic of appreciating every moment…
Or I might just need to recreate an early card I gave her. Even though I didn’t know it then, it encompassed my character. It said, “To Mumsy, from Clumsy — Happy Mother’s Day!”
I asked her once in my teen years if being clumsy was just a phase. “I’ll grow out of it, right?”
She replied, “No, dear, it’s a lifelong state of being. You will just have to learn to live with it.” And she smiled. So, I knew I would be alright. Thanks, Mom.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.