In my family growing up we had a set of Mother’s Day rituals — taking Mom out to breakfast, going to the garden center to buy flowers to plant for her, sometimes even exchanging of gifts and cards. When the Boy was born, I expected SuperHusband to just know what to do. After all, my family’s traditions were hardly secret — you see that kind of stuff on TV. I assumed everyone just knew.
Except that he didn’t. Tears ensued. Until I discovered one year that actually, there is a much, much better way:
Making my own breakfast. Why not have a day a year devoted to eating exactly what I want, prepared the way I like it, and you other people please just stay in bed and give the mother an hour of quiet to enjoy it? It really is better.
But I did tell the poor man what I wanted this year: For him to please get repaired the watch he gave me a different year. It needs a new battery and a new clasp, and yes I could take it to be repaired myself, but you know, he’s a mechanical engineer. What a great way to show his love, driving to the store himself to oversee the repair of a tiny metal mechanical device?
Luckily there’s no deadline, except that I’d really love for it to be fixed by the end of August, when I go to the Catholic Blogger Foretaste of Heaven Conference. Where our lovely 7-takes hostess will be speaking, no less. I am wildly excited.
Last year for Mother’s day, SuperHusband gave me a reprint of this book:
Which taught me how to make my own vinegar. Seriously easy and you feel so crunchy-granola, and also it uses up wine ends. And it is better than anything you can buy.
Small hitch: The cloth-covered Famous Grouse bottle serving as miniature vinegar barrel reminded the SuperHusband he wanted to resume homebrewing. He’d been on a long toddler-rearing hiatus. So he did. Causing us to stop buying wine. But I did the calculation, and it is cheaper to buy a bottle of Aldi wine and make vinegar out of it, than it is to buy Publix-brand red wine vinegar. So that’s what I do.
Speaking of famous grice: The SuperHusband was in the doghouse the other week, and to demonstrate the sincerity of his love, he came home with a bottle of Laphroaig for me. Which was a tiny bit strange, because I had not been grousing about a lack of single-malt. And the stuff is expensive. But in a moment of virtually Therese-like holiness, I figured: Hey, this is good! Might as well enjoy it!
He really does love me, you know.
A prayer for Allie Hathaway is prayer for her mom, too. You can’t go wrong.
The American Frugal Housewife was not the first historic housekeeping title on my shelves. The previous Christmas the SuperMother-In-Law, who knows me well, gave me this one:
Mrs. Beeton’s is much heftier than the Frugal Housewife, and addressed more towards homes with servants, and our servants are mostly the electric type anymore. But I came across this eminently reassuring and useful* bit of advice about the rigors of breastfeeding and the avoidance of colic:
The nine or twelve months a woman usually suckles must be, to some extent, to most mothers, a period of privation and penance, and unless she is deaf to the cries of her baby, and insensible to its kicks and plunges, and will not see in such muscular evidences the griping pains that rack her child, she will avoid every article that can remotely affect the little being who draws its sustenance from her. She will see that the babe is acutely affected by all that in any way influences her, and willingly curtail her own enjoyments, rather than see her infant rendered feverish, irritable, and uncomfortable. As the best tonic, then, and the most efficacious indirect stimulant that a mother can take at such times, there is no potation equal to porter and stout, or what is better still, and equal part of porter and stout.
And with that, I bid you a Happy Mother’s Day.
*Do not use this advice. Or if you do and then need sue someone, sue Mrs. Beeton. Her idea not mine.
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