Noon Time Nostalgia

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Last year was the best Mother's Day I'd ever had. It was so special because it was shared with my mother and grandmother and all of our family. It was the first time that sentiment took center stage and the thoughtful things we did for one another was priceless. Let me tell you about the day…

We gathered at my house for brunch on the beautiful second Sunday in May. My husband always wants to do everything on this day, but since I'm a daughter too, I like to do things for my mom. Add my grandmother into the mix and it really is a day we all take care of each other. This time around, though, my husband and father had a few surprises up their sleeves.

When my mom and grandma arrived at our home I greeted them each with a large wrist corsage. The flowers were pink and white and had very little smell since my mom has terrible allergies. While we made our way into the family room to join the rest of my family, my six-year old son was standing holding a bouquet of flowers for me. These weren't ordinary flowers however, but a group of handmade flowers drawn from construction paper and glued to green pipe cleaner stems. Each flower had something special written on the back from one of my two sons. It was the best floral arrangement I'd ever received.

While we waited for my brother and sister-in-law to arrive, we relaxed and talked. My husband brought out a delicious marinated stuffed shrimp appetizer that I made earlier, and he poured us moms some punch he'd concocted (it's never the same recipe twice and always so tasty). The kids had made some pictures for their grandma and great-grandma and handed them over with pride and love. When my brother arrived I began final preparations in the kitchen and then brunch was served buffet style.

I made an egg soufflé, two quiches (one broccoli, the other crab), fresh fruit salad, bacon (my mom loves it – and actually my husband made it, outside on the barbeque so it wouldn't stink up the house), cinnamon pull-apart bread, and pumpkin muffins. Brunch is my favorite meal so it was fun preparing everything. I set out my china and good silverware and everyone helped themselves. From then on, my husband and kids informed me, I wasn't to lift a finger. No problem!

When we were finished eating (and very full) it was just about noon. The men took care of the dishes and cleaning up and then asked everyone to take a seat in the family room. My husband brought out a large screen and video equipment that he'd rented to show a special feature he called “Noon Time Nostalgia.” My mom, grandmother, and I were totally surprised and had no idea what we would be watching.

My husband and father had worked painstakingly to create a sentimental family masterpiece that we would be able to enjoy over and over again. The video show consisted of old photos, home movies, and videotapes that had been put together on a single CD. My dad had dug up old pictures and movies of him when he was a kid and my grandma was a young mom. There were wonderful photos of my grandma and grandpa (who I never met) with my dad as he grew up, leading to pictures from my parents wedding day. There were also stills of my mother as a child with her mom (who also passed away before I was born). My brother and I were introduced next and my kids loved seeing old home movies of me as a kid. This led up to mine and my brother's weddings. Next were pictures and video of my children that my husband had carefully selected. I couldn't help but have tears of joy in my eyes as I watched this incredible movie unfold. My mom and grandmother felt the same and we were really touched by the hard work and thoughtfulness that went into the noon time surprise. We each received our own copy to keep.

While nothing could top this Mother's Day gift, the tribute continued with “award certificates” for each of us mom's, from my two sons. With painted handprints on parchment paper, they each wrote something special about the recipient. They were another treasure to be kept forever and made us feel so loved and appreciated.

The rest of the afternoon was spent reminiscing, and I especially enjoyed hearing stories from my grandmother. My brother took several pictures while we sat around and really just enjoyed each other's company. My husband served punch and treats – cookies, small fruit tarts, and brownies – while we talked.

When I lay in bed that night I realized how lucky I was to have such a great family and I had just had the best day with them.