Mother’s Day with Blueberries on Top

by Karen Amster-Young

It’s not easy being a mother. If it were easy, fathers would do it.” — The Golden Girls

The years go by so fast.  Mother’s Day was always, rightfully so, about my mom.  Growing up and thankfully still to this day, we would all be together. Sometimes it was just immediate family; other times there were more moms — relatives, friends.  Of course, once I walked down the aisle (the same year gas was $1.05 per gallon, Gotti was sentenced to life in prison and Clinton was elected President) I inherited my husband’s mom – adding to the pile of moms.  A few years later my sister got married (add her mother-in-law, sisters-in-law and others to the moms in the club). In 2001 my sister and I celebrated the birth of  our daughters.  I became an Aunt. I became A MOM. Powerful.

Flash forward ten years:  somewhere along the way I forgot that Mother’s Day – the holiday — was also about me.  I am not suggesting that I don’t think about being a Mom every second of every minute of every day (the deliriously good, the good, the bad, the ugly).  I just sometimes forget I am a Mom in the celebratory sense; or maybe it’s a time-warp thing:  the way many of us still look around for our mothers or “older” women when someone says, “Ma’am” or “Good morning, Mrs. So-and-So”.   We are all (moms) just so busy all the time.  We forget to say “No, I can’t do that.”  We take care of others — that’s what we (moms, women) do.  The years click away.   When did we become our Mothers, when did we become Mothers? When did we forget or when is it about time we recognize that Mother’s Day is also about us?

Just for the record, I do enjoy the Hallmark-inspired, “we’re-all-Moms-in this-together-gatherings”; it’s just that this year, I wanted to, in the spirit of this blog, take a moment to remember that I am a Mom too. And it seems like the right time: my daughter just turned 10 — a milestone.  Wasn’t this the perfect year to reflect and squeeze in a few, “tiny” things just for me in honor of Mother’s Day?  So this week, even before the official “day” arrived, that is what I did.

First and foremost I thought it was time to spend a little time again with my fellow busy mom and blog partner, Pam; we embarked on this journey together and although we always knew from Day One that we had different “52” lists, we expected and planned on doing some fun things together along the way — and we haven’t lately.  We also both didn’t know what to do from our “52” list this week.   As we have both said before, this thing is tough sometimes!

Expanding my culinary horizons has been on my list all along and I had read about a Mother’s Day breakfast demo at Williams-Sonoma that I wanted to check out. I recognize this is not a “big” 52; it was simply about getting out of my routine for a bit and doing something different and fun.  Pam (being a better and more proactive cook in general) did not jump up and down with excitement but agreed to accompany me.  “It will be fun,” I promised.  So we went.  For some reason we were in a bit of a laughing kind of mood from the beginning (nice change). Ryan, a store employee and food aficionado deftly demonstrated an amazing waffle iron and made incredible blueberry waffles.  Pam and I analyzed the waffle mix and discussed whether the expensive waffle mix was really worth it.  We asked Ryan a few questions and chatted incessantly with one another while sampling the crispy, amazing waffles. I thought about the crappy frozen kind I often make my daughter while Pam announced that her family actually makes real pancakes pretty frequently (now I know why I the cooking thing is on my list and not hers!).  We browsed and chatted. It really is a great store.  For some reason looking at non-stick pans, gourmet sauces and amazing cloth napkins always relaxes me.  Pam was in the market for a paring knife. We talked about knifes. We talked about family. We talked about Mother’s Day. Despite the delicious waffles we both decided to buy this special, stuffed-pancake pan.  We agreed that we would both try it out this week. We wanted these stuffed pancakes for Mother’s Day, regardless of our plans.

Next stop?  I needed new underwear.   Ridiculous I know but the fact is I keep forgetting to restock (TMI?).   I think I was about 16 when I first read that you feel better when you wear great stuff underneath your clothes — this has been drilled into our collective female brains forever .  We stopped in Victoria Secret’s.  Look, I know this was only about restocking but there is nothing like new underwear, some lacy, some plain.    Pam joined me but then went ahead to return something down the street.  New underwear-mission accomplished, I went to meet her with my pink, shiny Victoria Secret’s bag in hand.

Finally we plopped down at our favorite Starbucks (with outside tables!) and sat in the sun. We talked about Mother’s Day. We talked about the blueberry waffles. We talked about nonsense and just forgot, for a little while anyway, about errands, routines, hurdles that still need to be overcome and we even forgot about The 52 weeks for a while.  It was like old times or B.B. (Before Blog).   We reminded each other that it’s okay we did this kind of stuff today. We had already had crossed off some some “big” 52 week stuff other weeks and there were more to come. It’s okay if we did silly, “girl” stuff today. We needed it.

In closing I will tell you that ironically, for the first time ever,  I had not firmed up plans for this Mother’s Day.  I was afraid to commit to my immediate family or or any version of  “Moms-all-in this-together-gathering” for a long list of real reasons.  Maybe, subconsciously, I knew I wanted this particular Mother’s Day to be different, to just go with the flow without formal commitments. And just when I thought I would be the only mom around on the actual day or maybe just a day using my new pancake pan and the New York Times, my husband looked at me and said, “Ya know, we really should visit my mother at her new place,” (she had recently relocated to a senior community).  I sighed to myself and said, “I guess you’re right.  We should.” And just like that my “go with the flow”, I-am-the-only-mom-here- day evaporated into thin air.  But I was okay with it.  I had some  good, “just for me” moments this week or I should say I MADE some moments for myself this week (including a too-short haircut that truly screamed “you are such a MOM!”).  Most importantly, I made time for my friend, blog partner and some great blueberry waffles.

Sometimes non-stick pans can really help you get unstuck.  I still plan on making filled pancakes before we leave to see my mother-in-law.  And, if I get stuck under the Style Section in bed, so be it.  It’s time to remember I deserve it too. It was even nice, for even a few days, to think I only had pans, not formal plans.

This Week’s Getting “Unstuck” Sticky Notes:

  • Pans can be better than plans. It depends on the season and the reason.
  • Remember to pat yourself on the back once in a while.
  • It’s okay to make your own “rules” sometimes, especially when you really need it.
  • Retail therapy can truly be therapeutic, even if you only buy underwear.
  • Take time to make real pancakes or waffles every once in a while. The frozen ones are truly horrible.
  • Always make time for Mom. It just doesn’t necessarily have to be on Mother’s Day (as long as  everyone is okay with that!).




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categoryPosted: 05/8/11 4:22 AM

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