I’ve spent several hours reading Mother’s Day coverage in the major newspapers. There was an article of a woman clearing out her deceased mom’s belongings. How a grieving Orca reminds a mother of the death of her child. One advises that what mothers really want this year is some time off, I would suppose, from their children.
So I decided to go for something lighter. I have two small stories, a decade apart, that may give readers a laugh or a nod of recognition. The sort of stories that come when you notice what is happening around you.
About twelve years ago, I was at a garden center choosing blossoms for the garden. Since my mother had passed years before, I didn’t connect that the holiday was coming up the next weekend.
As I headed back to my car, I saw a young father with two young boys, maybe 6 and 7, in front of me.
In each of Dad’s hands was a hanging basket of flowering plants which he was carefully holding well above the children’s heads as they flanked him. One of the boys kept asking, “Dad, Dad, do you think she’ll like them?” After two minutes of badgering, Dad said, in a very tired, harassed voice, “I don’t know! I don’t know!” They carefully placed the flowers in the back of the SUV, clambered and were strapped into the car, and he drove away to face the ultimate judge on Mother’s Day.
Just two days ago, I passed a father who had one boy in a pram, one around 6 beside him, and behind him his maybe 7 year old daughter, the oldest of the trio of kids. Dad looked overwhelmed and tired, obviously not used to the circus.
What I noticed the wary, but determined gaze, of his daughter. Tightly held In her arms, was a water-filled pressed glass vase and a bunch of flowers – daffodils, purple Iris, and tulips, obviously carefully chose by the family from the display at Whole Foods. That daughter wasn’t going to let anything happen to the bouquet for Mom.
I smiled under my mask because I thought no matter how harassed Dad might be feeling right then, his daughter had his back, and Mom had a beautiful surprise coming.
I’m sure both mothers loved their flowers.