Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Mother's Day Dinner

 Paul Benedetti lives in Hamilton. He is a former Spectator reporter
and now teaches Journalism at Western University in London, Ontario.

The following article written by him, was published in May 2013.

The Penny Drops on Mother's Day
It may be a made-up celebration, but those were real tears.

A couple week's ago on Mother's Day, my wife woke up to, well...nothing.
No bouquet of flowers.  No strawberries and cream and hot espresso on a tray.  Not even a large Tim Hortons and a Dutchie.  Nothing!

Our eldest son, James, was in the basement sleeping or up early reading, but either way, the chances of him remembering it was Mother's Day were about as high as him remembering to take out the recycling that night.  Near zero!

Our middle child, Matthew, was in Saskatoon and likely fast asleep.  My wife had made what is known as “Pre-emptive Mother's Day Anti-Disappointment Contact” the day before by calling and gently reminding Matt that Mother's Day was imminent.  He assured her that he would have called Sunday (likely his girlfriend would have reminded him) and all was well.

And Ella, our 16-year-old daughter, was where teenagers are Sunday mornings ~ asleep open-mouthed in a tangle of sheets and pillows.

My wife feels some of the situation in our home is my fault, and I have to reluctantly admit she is right.

I grew up with a father who had a universal disdain for what he called “phoney celebrations,” claiming they were invented by greeting card companies and retail merchants. He treated all these “holidays” and particularly Father's Day the same way, grudgingly sitting down to a nice dinner and accepting our gifts of bad ties and cheap after-shave, but complaining throughout.  Under the sarcasm was his real feeling...that what counted was not how you treated your mother on Mother's Day, but how you treated her every day.  And he lived that!

My grandmother lived in our home from the moment my parents were married and throughout our entire childhoods.  Later, when her health failed, my dad moved her into a retirement home and visited regularly despite the demands of commuting, a challenging job and five kids.  Once, during the drive to visit her, I asked him, with all the tact of a teenager, how he had “put up” with having his mother living with him his entire adult life.  He looked at me and said simply, “She's my mother.”  I thought of my own mother...and understood.

So, on Sunday morning, I called my mom, wished her a Happy Mother's Day and invited her to dinner.  Out of pity, I made my wife a nice hot latte and some toast and we got on with the day.  She went out and bought my mom a lovely plant that later would make me look like a good son.

As the day wore on, I began to worry a bit.  I gently reminded the kids that 'nonna' would be coming for dinner  because you know it's MOTHER'S DAY.  As usual, James disappeared into the basement and Ella retired to her room for the rest of the afternoon.  I picked up my mom...we had a nice dinner together and just when I thought all was lost, Ella came to the table with a loosely wrapped package.  “This is for  you,” she said and handed it to her mother.  Inside was a cream coloured sheet of water-colour paper upon which Ella had meticulously painted a bouquet of flowers.
“This is lovely,” said my wife.
“Turn it over,” said Ella.
On the back, she found a message carefully scribed in black ink. 
My wife began to read the words aloud, but could not finish...

Happy Mother's Day, Mom.
Thank you for supporting me.
Thank you for caring for me when I'm sad.
Thank you for taking care of me when I'm sick.
Thank you for being patient with me when I'm difficult.
Thank you for looking out for me.
Thank you for paying for my useless wants.
Thank you for driving  me around.
Thank you for understanding me.
Thank  you for teaching me to care for others.
Thank you for teaching me to always fight for what I believe in.
Thank you for teaching me what it means to be a beautiful woman.
Thank you for being my Mother.
I love you...Ella

“That's beautiful,” my wife said, tears streaming down her face.
I think that beats breakfast in bed.

Being a Woman is Priceless!
(Courtesy of Dilu)

Many men believe they are doing women a favour by asking for her hand in marriage...but consider:
She changes her name...changes her home...leaves her family...moves in with you...gets pregnant for you...pregnancy changes her body...she gets fat...almost gives up in the labour room due to the unbearable pains of child birth...even the kids she delivers, bear your name.  'Til the day she dies!

Everything she does (cooking, cleaning the house, taking care of your parents, bringing up your children, earning, advising you, ensuring you can be relaxed, maintaining all family relations...everything that benefits you ~ sometimes at the cost of her own health, hobbies and beauty.

So, who is really doing whom a favour?

Dear Men:  Appreciate the Women in your Lives Always!
It is not easy to be a woman.


Scripted by Merle Baird-Kerr...November 21, 2014
Your comments are to:


  1. FROM MEG, A DEVOTED MOTHER: "That was wonderful...
    tears of course; the poem was definitely better than breakfast.
    It is always wonderful when our children finally SEE the value
    of Mom and Dad, for that matter."

  2. Amazing, isn't it? Teens often regard parents, Mom and name only. When they do express their emotions, it is so endearing to us.
    Experience has shown that frequently, it is not until adults, fending on their own, that our dear children finally see the light and cherish the qualities that made them who they truly are.
    Thank you Meg, for your sincere words.

  3. JEANNE COMMENTS: "A Wonderful Piece, Merle!!!
    I always enjoy his columns."

  4. His writings are most meaningful...often with 'tongue in cheek' wit and humour...yet so true to life! Pleased you enjoyed this...thank you Jeanne.

  5. FROM ROSEMARIE: "Simple things done for you by your be acknowledged and recognized by your children...
    is the best gift that any child can present to his/her parents."

  6. Graciously I thank you, Rosemarie, for your very astute words.
    They are priceless! I also appreciate your continued interest.