Some mothers are content to spend Mother’s Day at brunch followed by an afternoon at the spa. But sitting down and relaxing, even after two hip replacements, are not activities my mother believes in.
When my family and I awoke to a perfect spring morning, I thought I just might be able to trick Mum into spending a leisurely day sunning ourselves in the garden. I baked orange-current scones, cooked-up Spanish-style fava beans, scrambled some farm-fresh eggs with cheese, and the three of us gathered outside under the umbrella to dine in the fresh air.
As she sipped her iced-tea she looked uncharacteristically at ease. “I think we should pull out the Adirondack chairs so we can sit and survey our ‘estate.'”
I was encouraged. Could it be possible that I’d get to spend the rest of the day reading David Sedaris and catching some sun while she sat peacefully and color-coded her calendar?
We’d been kicking back not 5 minutes before she turned to me and said:
“By the way, your father and I went to Home Depot yesterday. We have everything we need to till and reseed the lawn. There’s a pile of dirt under the plastic over there.”
“Are you telling me that you want to spend Mother’s Day digging up the yard? Don’t you want to watch the DVD of our summer vacation I made for you?”
“No. I want to dig up the lawn. Ask dad for the shovel. Let’s get to work.”
I felt a gardening glove hit my shoulder. I knew it’d be a long time before I’d be allowed to sit down again.
Over the last 2 years, I may have cultivated a new interest in gardening, but let me tell you, digging up a lawn, hauling dirt up stairs in a wheelbarrow, and spreading peat moss over grass seed is not gardening — it’s back breaking work that should be left to professionals.
At the end of the day, after we had finished the lawn and I finished cooking dinner, my father, the dogs, and I collapsed into heaps on the couch.
“That was a great mother’s day! I got everything I wanted — a new lawn!”
Next year, forget the homemade, thoughtful gifts. I’m buying her a landscape gardener named Carlos so I can spend Mother’s Day at the spa.