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What moms really want

Andria
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THE REAL DEAL

THE REAL DEAL Even when Mother’s Day isn’t all roses and rainbows, it can still be sweet. (Illustration: behance.net/runamokstudios)

Dear Dads (and Kids, and Other Family Members),

In case it’s slipped off the radar, we’re putting it back out there: Mother’s Day is May 8!

I say that not to invoke panic in anyone. We moms know this special day can be fraught. How can you adequately celebrate someone who has literally handed over her body to her children, plus fed them, bathed them, carpooled them, and told them three times a day to keep their elbows off the table and put their napkins in their laps?

This is the person who goes to the bathroom with the sole intent of creating a few minutes of me-time, only to be interrupted by pudgy little hands on her knees and big eyes asking for some eggs. Please? (Ever seen the book Didn’t I Feed You Yesterday? It’s real.)

Let’s be clear: Mother’s Day is fraught for us too. Believe it or not, we truly want to adore whatever way you choose to celebrate us. It’s just not always easy.

Breakfast in bed? Lovely. We will definitely tell the children we love we wish they would make those pancakes of theirs (a.k.a. batter encased in a somewhat-cooked shell of a pancake, smothered in a half-bottle of syrup) for us every day! And serve it to us in bed! Inside, though, we’re wondering if we’ll be able to smell maple on our sheets when we go to bed tonight and wishing someone would whisk us to the Skeeter’s breakfast buffet.

Flowers? Candy? So, so sweet. But if that’s what we get the morning of Mother’s Day and then we turn around to spot a diaper needing changing, there’s not a big enough bouquet to make us feel any different than any other of the 365 days a year we are bound and faithful.

A couple of other things we don’t want:

1. Balloons on a stick. One soft-spoken, loving mother’s husband showed up every year with a sweet smile, their three boys, and a “Happy Mother’s Day!” balloon on a stick. Last year, the mother told her husband if he ever brought home another balloon on a stick – for any reason – she was going to stick it somewhere unpleasant.

2. A husband who plays baseball inside and breaks the window in the French door. A little specific, maybe, but you get the point.

Now for what we do want. One mom has a tradition of choosing an activity for the family that would make her happy – and that wouldn’t happen any day other people are allowed to have opinions. “I already have plans to visit the Arboretum,” she says. “That’s one of their least favorite things to do.” I got the feeling part of that joy came purely from being able to tell her family what to do and having them actually do it.

Another checks into a hotel every year – by herself. “It’s not even lavish hotels,” she says. “It’s just the peace of being alone, and not hearing some form of, ‘I need help!’ all day long.”

Basically, it boils down to this: Every other day of the year, we are in charge, all-in, never off. Mother’s Day is the one day we hope to call in and relax. Moms want a day off from momming.

Until…until our kids get to the age when they put their own napkins in their laps and drive their own cars to school. And we don’t need a minute to gather ourselves in our bathrooms, because nobody needs a grilled cheese right now.

Then…well, then we want a day on.

For the dads and older kids, these Dewberry (or any berry) Jewel muffins are a sweet way to start Mother’s Day morning. Just be sure to bake them all the way – and clean up the kitchen.

Dewberry Jewels

From The Junior League of Houston’s Stop & Smell the Rosemary

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup milk
1 ½ cups fresh dewberries, blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries
4 teaspoons sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a muffin pan. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a small bowl. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with milk. Fold in the berries. Divide the batter evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle the tops with sugar. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

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