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It wasn’t planned but…

May 10, 2010

I marked my first mother’s day by turning 31 while holding my first born. Over the past three decades, my birthday fell on Mother’s day weekend more often than cyclically possible. I remember my mother putting aside the day, so that her middle child could feel a little less middling. We marked my birthday with slumber parties and fruit tarts, since I didn’t like cake. In the wee hours of the morning, after prank calls and movies, my friends and I would plot a glorious breakfast in bed for my mother. Eggs, bacon and pancakes, with a single flower cut from her garden. I am pretty sure this actually only happened once, as the late night meant we were sprawled out on the basement couches heavily drooling when she got up. It was the mental gesture that counted at that age, I guess.

We spent my birthday/Mother’s Day this year around a table at the Majestic Cafe in Old Town. Eating Nana’s Sunday Dinner, a weekly family style special, celebrating the Nana in our family– my mother. I highly recommend taking five of your closest family members or friends to celebrate the Nana’s in your life. The food was perfect, and the conversation was excellent. We laughed at pictures, marveled at the grandchildren, and told stories. We discussed the quirky parts of our family, what makes us, well, us. We revisted the hilarity of the dangerous seventies carseats and metal toys. We discussed childhood fashion and fights. We even learned that my brother had a paper bag themed birthday party, with the pictorial evidence showing 13 children with paper bags on their head. Very Creepy. I laughed so hard that I cried.*

Now, as a mother myself, I am in greater awe of little Serafina’s Nana than ever before– well, putting aside her lack of party theme creativity. How did she go to school, teach, cook, discipline, advise, laugh, parent and manage to keep it together? As people say, motherhood isn’t easy, but my mother never limited herself to trite advice. She was Super Mom, now Super Nana, and never really needed acknowledgment, just love. When I look at my daughter, who I love and want to support, I understand why my mom never seemed annoyed in sharing Mother’s day. On Sunday, all I wanted was to have a quiet day with my daughter; this marks the first birthday in which a quiet time was the goal. The day did not compete with my birthday, but enhanced it. I now understand a birthday around Mother’s Day as a tribute to what the day honors.

*And just a note, I may love the lady intensely, but my little Serafina is not going to have a paper bag head party at Nanas.

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