This month on the 14th we celebrate mothers with their own special day. Being the mother of mothers with small children, I recognize the importance of my daughters being home with their families for Mother’s Day. There is much to be said for breakfast in bed served by little ones and a frazzled husband. Or maybe Mom is treated like a queen and taken to brunch. And let’s not forget there are devoted mothers of fur (and feather) babies. And then there’s everyone’s mother, Mother Earth.
Mother and son, working on a tie-dye project. I provided the supplies. She provided the patience.
It is sad to remember some mothers will not see their children for Mother’s Day. They are either distant, estranged, or their children have passed. This is not something a phone call, card, or Facetime can fix. In my eyes, this is not the normal sequence of life. For whatever reason, it is their journey and I offer my empathy.
I still enjoy and appreciate seeing my children for Mother’s Day. I try to arrange something before the sacred day, so they are with their own families on that Sunday, and the children get to revel in repaying Mom for all her hard work. My kids enjoy reminding me of all the things I did for them, including when I got in their way to prevent them from getting into trouble. I called the police on my son a couple of times, chased a few unworthy boyfriends from my doorstep, and then there’s the legendary story of how I pulled one of them out of school for throwing a party without my permission, thereby terrorizing most of the junior high class that year as they witnessed his/her departure. I am happy to say she/he is a little angel now and I couldn’t ask for a better child. All of them are amazing parents and wonderful human beings, everything a mother could want.
Christmas Chaos. The parents' faces on T.V. say it all.
How did that happen? Did I draw a hard line? Was it my dumb luck? I don’t think I’ll ever know. We were young parents and flew by the seat of our pants. Dad was the playmate; I was the taskmaster. One thing is certain. We invested time in our kids. We learned parenting through them.
This has most recently been demonstrated by my friend Andrea, who is writing a book for her only daughter, destined to leave home very soon. Despite that very thing being our job as parents, to push our children out of the nest, it is still a bittersweet moment. Parents are usually divided into two schools: 1) Those that are relieved to have their own space again, and 2) Those that are heartbroken to see their children leave home. As I work with Andrea to help her edit her book, she summarizes each story with what she has learned, what her daughter has learned, and what needs to be remembered if her daughter chooses to take on motherhood in the future. It will not and has never been an easy task.
I have been watching a mother humming bird for the last few weeks, taking care of her fledglings. Two days ago, she viciously attacked a sparrow that came too close to the nest. She hovers nearby like a helicopter, watching me as I walk by her babies. Does she hold the same fears as I did when my babies left the nest? If she has done her job providing shelter, nutrition, and nurturing, she has given them wings and earned the right to watch them soar off into the world with peace in her heart.
May all mothers know what a gift they truly are.
I always wanted a Laughing Buddha statue for my garden. Then we got a real one!
Below, you will find my Mother’s Day gift to you, a recipe for spicy, chewy, Stem Ginger Cookies, just like the ones made by Walker’s in the red and plaid bag. Enjoy!
½ cup butter, softened
1 ½ tablespoons Golden Syrup (this can be found in an import store or online.
Substitutions do not work!)
1-2 ounces crystalized ginger, chopped fine
¾ cup self-rising flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ¼ teaspoons ground ginger
¾ cup light brown sugar
Milk if needed
Before mixing, chop the ginger into very fine pieces. This will be the most time-consuming part of the recipe as the ginger is very sticky. When you are done, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter and syrup together and add the crystalized ginger. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, ground ginger, and brown sugar. Add the butter mixture and stir until a dough forms. Use your hands if necessary. If mixture is too dry, it may be necessary to add milk, one tablespoon at a time.
Shape into 1-inch balls and flatten slightly to make a disk. Place on a greased baking sheet and use the prongs of a fork to press the top of the cookie to make indentations. Bake for 7-8 minutes until light brown.
Allow to cool slightly before removing from baking sheet. Store in an airtight container. This recipe should make 12-15 cookies.