In preparation for Mother’s Day

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Well now, if you haven’t made plans and you are planning on celebrating, then there’s probably a grocery store near you. Plan on cooking.

Rules for Mother’s Day in case you were dropped here by Vogons and are waiting and hoping to be extricated from this planet by a passing space ship but in the meantime, you would like to know what’s going on here.

I have two new moms in my life who had babies in the last month. I will text them and wish them a Happy Mother’s Day. Since they just gave birth, their husbands should cook for them and shower them with flowers, candy etc. They probably don’t want to go out.

Mostly what moms want is to be with as many of their children and grandchildren as possible. Often that’s not possible because some of the kids are far away and some of them are with their kids and don’t want to travel. But, you do your best. I always spend Mother’s Day with whichever of my kids are available.

There was a time when we would gather at a nice restaurant –the kids, the grand kids and the Mother-in-law. This was fun for her I believe since she liked both the gathering in her honor which was always in some restaurant in Pasadena with a lot of white and seemed very Rose Kennedy and of course the good food, but it wasn’t fun for me. It went on past the time (10 minutes) when my kids could be well behaved in a nice restaurant. I know this sounds like my kids were bad, but they were active. So it was not fun and I ended up scolding them and not enjoying a minute of Mother’s Day.

So we changed the game. I spend Mother’s Day with my kids and we do active things. Even now with them in their twenties. We go to Venice Beach or the Huntington or the Haight. We get brunch. We walk around. We do not have to be all dressed up and behaving unless we’re at the Huntington and even there you can walk the grounds. My mother-in-law spends the day with her son or in the case of last year and this year—her sons. Which is perfect. Because she can bask in their presence. Especially the older one who is perfect in her opinion, a god-like figure dominating the Alameda landscape. If he were as amazing as she thinks, world domination would be just a little leap from his small house and working in plumbing to world president.

They will have a great day and we will have a great day.

Now to presents:

For younger moms—flowers, chocolate, maybe one thing like a book that the mom wants or lotion –girlie stuff.

For the mom with teenagers—some books on survival, trips to Mexico to fill up the prescription bottles (kidding!) but a spa day is a good thing, something to acknowledge that she’s trying to keep her sanity. Maybe not trying hard enough?

For the older mom—like my mother-in-law, flowers are a safe bet and then of course there’s the scarf/perfume route. We’re going shopping tomorrow for said gift, so we’re a little late on this, but I feel sure we’ll find something. Maybe even something slightly quirky, who knows?

Things to stay away from:

Things for the house

Cooking stuff unless she is a major cook. No pots, pans etc.

Stuff that’s for the whole family like movies.

Electronics she won’t figure out how to use.

Stuff that’s really about you—that includes thongs, girdles, 4 inch heels—anything that shows you’re actually an old man with a fetish for the days when you didn’t get to go to the Playboy Mansion and the objectification of women etc. Stop that. Grow up.

Think about what makes her clap her hands. I wanted the new Claire Messud book, The Woman Upstairs. He got it for me. It’s in the bag.


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