May 14, 2011

Happy Orthodox Mother's Day

I wonder if someone will will
play peek-a-boo with me?
The inability of Christians to decide between the Julian and Gregorian calendars means many Orthodox children are unwrapping their Christmas presents in January. While the week late observation of holidays is just one of the many discrepancies in Orthodox practices, it provides a perfect rationalization in our family to celebrate important events on a later date. For example, when I happened to be traveling for work on my birthday last year, we just celebrated my Orthodox birthday a week later.

Last Sunday, I had to invoke our Orthodox observation policy since we were returning home from an out-of-town wedding on Mother's Day. Since spending all day in airports and on airplanes seemed like more of a punishment than celebration, we officially postponed it until today.

Real Mother's Day

God knows how a popsicle sculpture (my 5 year-old's present), a complete line of macaroni jewelry (my 3 year-old's present) and a life-size tracing of my 2-year old (his present) would have held up in a suitcase, but that morning I regretted not bringing the presents. We exchanged cards, but it all felt a little unofficial without homemade presents (also because it was happening in a hotel room). Thankfully, the rush to pack the suitcases and wrangle all the kids to the airport overshadowed everything else.

In addition to early boarding with children, another compelling
reason to fly Southwest drinks on Mother's Day.
Once we boarded the plane, the kids all agreed that mommy should get the window seat as a "Mother's Day" present. This was actually quite a selfless gesture, as positioning next to the window seat ignited a 2-hour battle on the flight down. Not that we were keeping score, but the 3-year old won...she just wanted it more.

Finally, once the novelty of climbing over the top of seat wore off (about an hour), everyone gave mommy the greatest gift of all...they fell Mommy something she hadn't had in a very long time...4 hours to herself. To top it off, Southwest Airlines gave her the second greatest gift of all...a complimentary Bloody Mary to enjoy in solace.

Orthodox Mother's Day

With 3 kids, getting an hour to yourself (even
if it is to cut the lawn) is the greatest gift of all.
Our family officially celebrated Mother's Day this morning and all the homemade gifts from the children were cherished dearly. We made our traditional trip to the nursery and bought flowers for the yard. Despite it being 50 degrees in May, we planted them all.

I surprised Margret with something that she has been asking for for years...a new lawnmower. While that may seem a little unsentimental, it's what she really wanted. Then, as a family, we gave her one last hour to cut the lawn...or an hour to herself...depending how you look at it.

Happy Orthodox Mother's Day!