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This year, I want to do something extra special for my mother. Even though we live in the hot and humid south, the weather usually cooperates in May, so my girls and I have planned a garden party for family and friends.
With my daughters’ help, I broke out the stamps, colored paper, stickers and more to create invitations for our little soiree. It was a great mother-daughter project, and while we worked, I began thinking of all the mothers I’ve known. In that number, I include women who didn’t give birth, but are nonetheless, mothers to their friends, family and community. Many women have mothered me, and I hope I do the same for others. After all, as Mother Teresa said, “The problem with the world is that we draw the circle of our family too small.”
So, while the girls and I had out the stamps and gel colors, we also decided to make cards to thank the “spiritual mothers” in our lives. Even if your mother is no longer living, or you don’t have children, you can still gather friends and honor them. At the party, pay it forward by asking guests, about those who have mothered them. It’s a great conversation starter. Also, how about making the party a potluck where everyone brings a dish that reminds them of home? One more way to get the party started.
My own mother has had a difficult year. She is often in and out of the hospital, so I want to treat her to something special. She loves my peonies and roses, so we’ll set the table beneath a quiet Oak tree and be surrounded by all that nature offers. Some years, I go all traditional with the food by making chicken salad and cucumber sandwiches. This year, I’ll keep it simple with lemonade and cupcakes. If you’re worried about bees and wasps buzzing your pink lemonade, you could make unsweetened iced tea or flavored water instead. Have sweetener on hand for those who want it, and float a bit of lemon or an edible flower on top to make it festive. I chose a pink and yellow theme, and my little chick holding the tulips was a lucky, antique store find.
Since it’s difficult for my mom to get around, I’ll purchase some of her favorite plants and visit a few days before Mother’s Day to plant the large containers next to her house. One year, when my babies were small, my husband put their hand and footprints on a large block of concrete used as a stepping stone in my garden. I still look at it almost every day and think about young they once were.
Forget expensive gifts, it is little gestures like these which make moms smile.