Monday, May 15, 2006

The most beautiful flowers in the world



I never thought Mother's Day was a big deal. I was always extra nice to my mother on that day. We'd prepare a crafty card or some such thing in school, and I remember stealing lilacs off the bush that poked through the fence in a nearby parking lot to give to her all the years we lived in that spot. But I always considered it one of those made-up, commercialized excuses of a holiday, not a cause for real celebration.

Of course, that all changed when I became a mother.

I can't put my finger on it. I'm tempted to say that every day — at least, all those good days, when my girl laughs, when we're in sync, when we're full of love and joy — is Mother's Day. But this weekend was something special.

I was treated to a Saturday without the child, which I spent lazily, puttering and listening to the CBC. (I never thought such a simple pleasure might be thwarted by the presence of a little one, but games, questions, little attentions, and meal preparations are enough to distract me from the point of a story, to miss a punchline. Lazy Saturday mornings is a habit we're only just now being able to slowly, gradually reinstate as she's better able to amuse herself.) We braved torrents of rain to enjoy lunch out. On the drive to retrieve Helena, we hear a recording of an interview with Salman Rushdie, the one I'd ultimately opted not to attend back in the fall but I was glad to hear it now. (I'm unable to find links to audio files or transcripts, though I did find a couple write-ups, one of which I'm certain misquoted Rushdie and neither of which managed to synthesize all the interesting things he had to say. I'm not able to do that either, but he did say wonderfully inspiring things about the purpose of literature to help readers view the world — the real world — a little differently, to incite discussion, to shake things up. It almost makes me want to read The Satanic Verses.)

Sunday was simply lovely, brimming with thoughtful little attentions I won't enumerate here. I did receive as a gift a copy of Stendhal's The Red and the Black, which I'm certain Helena's father had a hand in choosing (if you ask Helena what Mommy's reading, she's still likely to say Don Quixote). (I'm torn whether I want to read it along with a group or savour it all for myself. I cannot explain why I suddenly have so much enthusiasm for this book.)

Et cetera.

Somehow, all weekend, I managed to suppress all work-related stress. Panic erupted this morning and is sure to have a tangible presence all the coming week. I will remind myself to stop and smell the flowers.

4 comments:

callie said...

Lovely. Just lovely. I, too, am feeling the effects of work panic & I'm going to keep clicking over this week to stop and smell your roses.

Suzanne said...

It does sound like a lovely Mother's Day! Don't let the stress intrude on your idyllic reverie.

Martha said...

It sounds like the perfect Mother's Day. And I know what you mean-- the day has more meaning for me too, now that I'm a mother. In fact, I was looking forward to it for weeks because I knew I'd be able to ask for the day off. It was so rejuvenating.
And I sympathize with the work panic. Hope you're able to maintain your equilibrium.

Miriam Jones said...

They are lovely flowers. I myself was given a bouquet of dandelions.

Ironic, isn't it, how Mother's Day is often celebrated by being relieved of the child(ren) for a few hours.