Men are what their mothers made them. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Although parts of the U.S. are starting to roll back their shelter in place orders, Mr. Smith and I are still firmly ensconced in the love nest.  For me, like so many others, COVID-19 Mothers’ Day is bittersweet.  We are living two hours from a grandchild for the first time in our lives and I had anticipated a lovely Mothers’ Day lunch together, watching Eleanor run herself silly at the park, giving her a bubble bath and putting on her pajamas before tucking her into her car seat and throwing kisses as she headed home with her parents.  Maybe next year.

Maybe next year, Eleanor!

For over a decade I worked in a flower shop.  Mothers’ Day was one of the busiest holidays.  One year I was assisting an acquaintance with her order when she asked me “What did you get for Mothers’ Day?”  Instinct told me that this was not idle chit-chat.  Either she wanted to tell me about some fabulous gift she had received or simply wanted me to assure her that no matter what she received or did not receive, being a mother was a reward in itself.  With retail stores currently shuttered and online shipping presently unpredictable, perhaps this year we can lower our expectations and just enjoy the day, one moment at a time.

My mother and me. 1956

With many parents working from home and schools/daycare closed, families are spending more time together than usual.  Many weeks ago, I visited my oldest son and his family to try and help them adjust to their new normal.  As my son headed for the family room downstairs for another Zoom call, my daughter-in-law grabbed his hand and stopped him to give him a hug.  She said, “One benefit of quarantine is more hugs!”  As crazy as it has been at their house with two adults trying to keep up with their work responsibilities all while monitoring three active boys with e-learning, my sense is that they have adjusted and it’s not all bad.

Aunt Ruby, my boys and me, and my mom. 1985

We moms may not get to enjoy celebratory spa days, fun brunches out or strolls through parks or museums this year, but we know this too shall pass.  Anybody who is a mother knows they are in it for the long haul.  We may not be able to spend the day together hugging our children and grandchildren, but that will never stop the love.  This year I will demonstrate that love by staying away to keep us all safe.  So, we’ll FaceTime, laugh, share stories and blow kisses virtually.

My three sons.

I am the mother of three amazing men.  So, Mr. Emerson, today I will pat myself on the back and say job well done.  Then I will raise my glass to my equally amazing daughters-in-law, mothers, mothers-in-law, aunts, sisters, daughters and all the caring, nurturing women who have crossed my path. Happy Mothers’ Day and stay safe.

C’est la vie.

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