Since April, Bryan had been asking me what I’d like to do for Mother’s Day. It’s always tricky for me. I didn’t want “the day off” because to me, the whole purpose of Mother’s Day is celebrating motherhood so it feels wrong to do so by not being with my children. I wanted to do something special, but also didn’t want to fight crowds or overpay for mediocrity or deal with stress of traffic or tickets to something or being somewhere on time. Then again, a lazy day at home doing nothing seemed boring to me. I so appreciate how much he wanted to make sure that my wishes come first on this Hallmark holiday, but I couldn’t even really make sense of my wishes, let alone turn them into reality.
For the past four years since I’ve been a mom, he’s always put me first on Mother’s Day, and for that he’s a true partner in parenting and marriage. That, alone, is a gift more thoughtful than any big hullabaloo we’d end up doing. And my mom has never been one to make a big fuss over holidays and has said that I should put the focus on myself and my own kids, but I couldn’t possibly imagine celebrating Mother’s Day without my own mother! So I decided that what I really wanted was just to have the whole family together at our home, even it if meant cooking for them and cleaning up after them — I’d rather do something genuine on Mother’s Day than something generic just for the sake of doing something. Plus, I’d be lying a little bit if I said I hate hosting parties.
While in Trader Joe’s, I flirted with frozen quiches and had a quick love affair as I fondled the box in my hands, and while my head said yes, my heart said no. So instead, I purchased ingredients to make them from scratch, in addition to a few other brunch favorites. And right then and there, my idea to have “a simple Mother’s Day breakfast” became “Ah! The Four Seasons will rue the day that I take Mother’s Day into my own hands and kitchen!” I might have even whooshed my cape over the frozen food section of convenience.
Some pre-baking (scones and coffee cake!) and cooking (those damn quiches) the day before allowed for a fairly easy morning on Sunday when I awoke to Madelyn at my side of the bed, in full voice: “I KNOW YOU’RE STILL SLEEPING, BUT HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, MOMMYYYYYYY.” Yawn.
The wake-up call, though abrupt, was probably a good thing as it got my tush in action to put the finishing touches on our table and brunch set-up, like getting the fixings to the scones (Devon cream, jam, lemon curd) and yogurt bar ready in their serve-ware straight out of a Crate & Barrel wedding registry collection. You know you’ve only been married for 8 years when you still get a kick out of playing house with your wedding loot.
Everyone arrived at 11 for brunch and we chowed down like the hungry and deserving mamas — and dads! — that we are. Madelyn made pictures for each of the moms in the room and we all praised her for her work. Brunching at home in the aroma of fresh coffee and baked goods was such a nice and relaxing way to spend the day together. Mimosas flowed and seconds and thirds of food were served. I loved having our family gathered in our dining room. It’s why we bought this house.
Thankfully, the living room is a few steps away, so when we were stuffed, we reclined and relaxed on the couch with baseball in the background as the kids played together. My nephew, Jordan, finally has a playmate in Arielle who is almost keeping up with him, and Madelyn loves doting on both babies. I know both Mimi and Grandma were thrilled to be with the kids, and my own Grandma came along with my parents since she’s nearby and nothing makes her heart happier than being with family and seeing the little ones bounce around and discover everything around them.
I’m pretty sure we’ve all reached the stage in life where we can sit back and let the kids do the entertaining. In no time, I’m sure Madelyn will be directing and starring alongside Jordan and Arielle in shows they all make up as we sit with full bellies and manage to find room to laugh. That’s what these family holidays are made for.
All I really wanted for Mother’s Day was to get a few family shots with my girls. I’m so glad that my Grandma is able to join us at these little gatherings so it was important to have her in all her 92-year-old glory pose for a quick photo, too. I totally burned off all the calories from brunch while trying to get Arielle to cooperate for a picture. Babies, man. I really worked for that (digital) Kodak moment.
Mother’s Day was such a nice day this year. The novelty of my first Mother’s Day remains a favorite memory, and I’ve loved celebrating preschool Mother’s Day once Madelyn became a preschooler, but there’s something to inviting the whole gang to our house to remind ourselves why we are all so special with good food and good company. There’s certainly something warm-fuzzy about cooking with my wonderful husband while our girls played together, as we prepared to welcome the people who brought us together and put us in the middle of generations.
Also, the quiches from scratch were delicious.