May 12, 2008

Mother's Day (When We All Fell Down)

In the aftermath of the Civil War, activist Julia Ward Howe thought introducing something along the lines of the Mother's Day celebrated in England might be a good idea. It was first celebrated in Grafton, West Virginia on May 10, 1908. The location is now called the International Mother's Day Shrine (seriously). Apparently, it was a hit. Woodrow Wilson declared National Mother's Day in 1914. Of course, now many people (myself included) consider the holiday the height of commercialism. It's expected that, this year, Americans will have spent $3.5 billion dining out for Mother's Day, $2.6 billion on flowers and $68 million on greeting cards. Turns out that Howe agreed with the whole commercialism argument. In 1923, she found herself opposing the holiday itself.

Yet I'm sure Howe never had a Mother's Day celebration quite as silly as ours.

Yesterday, we hosted a Mother's Day brunch at our place. No easy feat when you have a sore-armed husband, a hyper toddler and an infant with a cold. But we pulled it off thanks to the best mom in the world herself, Beth. We showered her with gifts which Mia was responsible for picking out. No surprise, they included an Elmo DVD and chocolate. Then the grandparents came over and much spoiling and eating was done. After we ate, we had a group sing-along including a rousing, well acted-out rendition of Ring Around The Rosy. Yes, we all fell down. Then Mia dressed me up.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the woman I married turned out to be the best mom in the world. And I'm a lucky guy for it. So are my kids.

What did you do for Mother's Day? And what do you think of the holiday itself - nice, commercial or both?

Posted by Chris at May 12, 2008 6:32 AM

Aww. Very sweet.

Mothers Day. I worked. No big deal, my kids treat me special every day. Seriously.

Posted by: Leilani at May 12, 2008 7:36 AM

That sounds like a great Mother's Day for you guys!

For me? I got to sleep in (7:45!) and the kids made me lunch (pb&j) AND supper (tuna noodle casserole). And they made me lovely cards.

I like the sentiment behind Mother's Day. I don't see the need for all the flowers and gifts, but I think EVERYONE should have a special day here and there. It does wonders for the morale.

Posted by: Alissa at May 12, 2008 7:58 AM

Commercial, yeah, but it's good to set a day aside for ma.

Also, Mia's quite the little fashionista. You're quite the clothes-horse.

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at May 12, 2008 8:15 AM

I love that you not only let Mia dress you up, but that you also allow photographic evidence.

Too commercial. I bought my mother flowers and cooked her a fine crab dinner.

Posted by: Maria at May 12, 2008 8:29 AM

I think every holiday that is observed with any kind of fervency (basically everything but Arbor Day) in the U.S. is too commercialized. It's all about buying stuff for someone or buying stuff on sale because OMG YOU WON'T BELIEVE THESE PRICES.

That said, I called my mom mid-afternoon to wish her well. And then I got back in bed because I wasn't feeling well.

And your outfit was just stunning. I'm surprised all that stuff stayed on your head!

Posted by: Sparkle Pants at May 12, 2008 8:42 AM

My boys did their best - a cute flower from a pre-k project and a card from my oldest.

I cooked dinner - carrots, grilled corn on the cob, zucs, au gratin, and porkloin - for my mother and grandmother (85) then we all played poker.

A little to commerical - we treat each other great all the time and our family is always getting together to hang out.

Posted by: Steff at May 12, 2008 8:42 AM

We gathered and ate and played and celebrated moms. Lots of pictures and hugs. It was fun.

I don't mind a little commercialism on this holiday because cards and flowers don't have to be put on credit across the nation. And in the end, I think most of us realize that simply being with our mom and telling her that we love her is all that any good mom really wants.

Pretty spiffy doorknob system you got there. Gold on the outside and silver on the inside? :)

Posted by: Brad at May 12, 2008 8:46 AM

Around our house, it's a commercial thing, mainly because (and everyone brace yourself) every day is mother's day around here. Neither of us falls into the traditional roles; sometimes I cook, sometimes she does. Sometimes I change a lightbulb, sometimes she does. So yesterday was another day where I cooked (although I did make an attempt at making the meal look special - photographic evidence at my place) and we gave her some presents (that I would have given her a few days earlier when I bought them if it hadn't been for the holiday).

If any of that makes any sense...

Posted by: SciFi Dad at May 12, 2008 9:09 AM

So how do you sing Ring Around the Rosy?

My husband and I sing it differently and neither of us had ever heard the other's version before we met.

Posted by: Courtney at May 12, 2008 9:10 AM

Sounds like a wonderful day! We had my mom over for dinner and dessert (I made cupcakes! Mmmm). It's nice to celebrate the woman who gave birth to you without involving Hallmark. ;)

Posted by: Hope at May 12, 2008 9:57 AM

My parents built me a fence. They let me sleep in and sent me to the doctor's. This is sooooo bad for my karma ! But I have the best parents in the world.

Posted by: Heather at May 12, 2008 10:02 AM

I, too, suffered through a cold and took my mom to dinner :)

Posted by: Stephanie at May 12, 2008 10:33 AM

I think it's on par with Valentine's Day actually. I thought I might feel differently when I became a mom, but no. I will not take the fun out of it for anyone else, but I insist that this not turn into another Christmas. Small gifts are fine, but nothing extravagant.

That being said, I'm considering getting my husband a Kindle for Father's Day. Contradiction? You betcha!

Posted by: donna at May 12, 2008 11:50 AM

I mopped the floors while dad took the boys to Iron Man. And I was happy.

I made crepes galore for brunch, and I ate most of them, and I was happy.

I met 3 blogmommas out in downtown Vancouver and we accidentally went to the snotties, most pretentious restaurant I've ever seen while in jeans and t-shirts and ate overpriced, overgarnished meals and drank overpriced, underliquored martinis. And I was SO happy.

Posted by: Mr Lady at May 12, 2008 12:13 PM

Looks like a fabulous day! We had my family over for a luncheon cookout and then drove down to visit D's family for dinner. Nothing overly commercialized just some time spent with the families where working on a house wasn't involved.

Posted by: Krush at May 12, 2008 12:20 PM

Happy Mother's Day, to Beth :)

Love the pictures....especially your head piece!

Posted by: Lani at May 12, 2008 12:54 PM

I'm with Alissa, I like the sentiment. But I'm not big on the commercialism. I spent a great weekend with my two daughters (blogged it in its entirety, complete with pix, though none of them were of me dressed by a mini-fashionista), the highlight being the amazing mud cake they made me on the driveway, complete with a plate sidewalk-chalked on the asphalt around it, while I was mowing the lawn.

I spent some time on the phone with my mom, my step-mom and my ex-mom-in-law in lieu of cards/flowers/whatever, since they are all too far away to have over for brunch. I also declared a housework moratorium for the weekend and just did fun things with my girls. Perfect.

Posted by: alison at May 12, 2008 1:01 PM

Love it. I love it FOR my mom and I love it BECAUSE I'm a mom. Yeah - it's gotten ridiculously commercial - but not at my house.

It was - without a doubt - the best Mother's Day ever . . . I got lots of love, a fabulous supper cooked for me, four cards, and a gorgeous boquet of calla lilies. AND - AND - my two boys called a truce for the day . . . Perfection.

Posted by: Mindy at May 12, 2008 1:17 PM

Love it. I love it FOR my mom and I love it BECAUSE I'm a mom. Yeah - it's gotten ridiculously commercial - but not at my house.

It was - without a doubt - the best Mother's Day ever . . . I got lots of love, a fabulous supper cooked for me, four cards, and a gorgeous boquet of calla lilies. AND - AND - my two boys called a truce for the day . . . Perfection.

Posted by: Mindy at May 12, 2008 1:17 PM

Looks like you guys had a blast.

The kids made breakfast with Dad's help. We went on a hike in the mountains and watched the kids throw every rock they could find in a river. And then they let me study for finals. It was nice.

I guess it's as commercial as you make it. We're low-key here but we are completely insane at Christmas - because we want to be. You know?

Posted by: sunshine at May 12, 2008 1:25 PM

It is a good feeling knowing that you made the right choice in the "mother of my children" category.

Here's to a good week!

Posted by: Isabel at May 12, 2008 1:54 PM

My daughter came up on Friday and we had dinner. I have to say I am proud as punch of her. She is, at 31 one of the nicest people I know and I truly admire her! (She is also gorgeous!)
Saturday and Sunday I worked on organizing all the CD's I have backed up my pictures on, my documents, etc. I have 89 frigging discs!!!
Hubby is a real romantic. He ordered a new laptop for me for Mother's Day!

Posted by: Maribeth at May 12, 2008 2:20 PM

...and on Mother's Day...I rested.

Posted by: apathy lounge at May 12, 2008 3:29 PM

But, dude, why didn't you share your waffles with her????

Posted by: jessica at May 12, 2008 3:39 PM

At the risk of sounding anti-everything, we don't do mothers' day for the commercial aspect of it. It's not as bad as valentine's day but close.

There are two really awesome festivals at our community park (one on Sat. on one Sun.) Great fun for every one, it's like our coming out after the long winter. We had a tremendous fun weekend.

Sounds like you had a good one too.

Posted by: Nat at May 12, 2008 5:22 PM

I especially like the cowboy hat footwear. Looks like you all had a blast, and it sounds like you're a very lucky man!

We had all of the women in my wife's family over for a "Jammy Party," in which the men cooked breakfast, watched the kids and cleaned up. Then, we had a surprise baby shower for my wife, who is due in June. It was a lot of fun!

Posted by: Jeremy (Discovering Dad) at May 12, 2008 6:38 PM

Not a fan of it really but had a really nice day with lunch (that I didn't have to cook) with ALL my family (except sister in London) and drank plenty of wine. If the day is an excuse to do both then perhaps I am a fan?

Posted by: Beth at May 12, 2008 6:42 PM

Awwww... looks like you had a lovely Mother's Day! That's a great look for you!

My Mother's Day was spent in the rain, watching my son graduate from college (a main ceremony and a departmental ceremony), so despite the weather, it was a great day. Even with all that going on, he got me a CD and a candle!

Posted by: coolchick at May 12, 2008 7:44 PM

That girl sure has fashion sense!

Posted by: Heather at May 12, 2008 10:44 PM

It was great......

Breakfast in bed (french toast, yeah!), my favorite dish for lunch, watching family movies and eating pizza in our pajamas from 3PM-8PM. Then, on Monday, my gift arrived via FEDEX - my very first ipod.

Posted by: Jen at May 14, 2008 11:11 AM

And you're a good dad (and a good sport) for letting your ultra-cute daughter dress you up like that. :)

Posted by: Zandria at May 17, 2008 7:02 PM

awesome pics. Awe-some.

Posted by: Aimee Greeblemonkey at May 20, 2008 12:23 AM