As someone who lost his mother at age sixteen, you'll understand that it's been many years since I participated too enthusiastically in Mother's Day festivities. This changed three years ago; Gunnar was born, and when the second Sunday in May came around, I suddenly had a holiday on my hands requiring observance!
I asked Alison what she wanted to do on "her" day. Her answer: she wanted breakfast, she wanted to do a long run, and she wanted to bring Gunnar down to my mom's grave site to plant flowers. This has become a sort of family tradition (I hope the kids don't mind as they get older -- don't worry, I'm not making them stand while I read prayerbooks or any weird grave site stuff). This year, the kids' role was minimal; it was a rainy Mother's Day, and they were sound asleep in the car anyway. Ali did bring the sleeping Ingrid over for about 30 seconds (at 10-months-old, it was her first visit); Gunnar remained snoring in his seat.
Exactly who did what (or who was even awake) wasn't really the important thing to me. To have my wife and kids at the site where my mother is buried on the date on the calendar that celebrates maternity and motherhood was a special experience. Mothers -- even ones that only make it to the age of forty -- are important people who deserve to be celebrated.
Photo: My mother and me (who is sporting a hairstyle similar to Ingrid's current 'do).