Wednesday, February 13, 2008


When we were just little shoots—and still are today, come to think of it—one of the things my madre did extraordinarily well was to embellish and recognize holidays.

After The now-Husband and I married, it was important to me that I educate him on what birthdays are supposed to be like (e.g. being woken up by your entire family, bad bedhead and all, singing "Happy Birthday," breakfast and presents in bed, no chores at all, lunch out with mom and a sister or two, balloons at school, special dinner of your choice (steak, Cheetos, and purple jello if your Caitlyn), not to mention the great card that mom always wrote, outlining the ways that you were special and different). Mom made our birthdays a focused celebration of the birthday girl and a true holiday. As it went with all holidays.

St. Valentine's Day was no exception. The terrific tradition that Mom created for Valentine's day is chocolate for breakfast. We would come upstairs in the morning on Valentine’s to find six little arrangements of chocolate and other treats accompanied by a personalized Valentine’s note to each of us set out at the bar where we ate breakfast. And it wasn't just waxy grocery store chocolate; no, Mom made sure to go get nice sweets from Kara's.

I appreciated how she always remembered little details about which kid liked what kind of candy: Caitlyn went through a spell of stupidity (no offense, Mallory or Ma) where she didn't eat chocolate, so Mom got her other kinds of treats; I love, love, love lemon creme chocolates, and mom always included one of those in my stack of sweets. And when I was away at college, that mother of mine actually mailed me some of the special truffles to celebrate the holiday of love.

So this Valentine’s day, to celebrate my mom's passion for traditions and flawless execution of them, I'll have a chocolate protein shake for breakfast rather than my standard vanilla. Happy V-day, mom. Thanks so much for going out of your way to make that holiday, and so many others, memorable and something to look forward to. If I have kids, I want to do that just like you did. I love you.

1 comment:

Sue said...

That is the best Valentine's Day gift yet. Thank you!