Mother’s Day

This is my mom, cooking as usual.

My mom, cooking as usual

My mom houses me when I’m homeless, points the way when I need direction, and cares for me when I’m sick. Last week, when I was feeling overwhelmed by the weeds in my garden, she and my avo spent an afternoon cleaning my yard.

Maman is one of those unsung heroes of the world. She quietly, but efficiently, fundraises for charity, volunteers at community events, and excels in her work — all while keeping a meticulous house, exercising regularly, making deliciously elaborate meals, socializing with her Manhattan-sized network of friends, and beautifying the universe with her impeccable taste.

Sometimes it rankles to know that my mother is, and always will be, infinitely cooler than I am. When I was in high school handsome young men I liked would tell me they had a crush on her. Talk about your classic chopped liver.

Mom and me, circa 1985

Classic Mikaela and mom, circa 1985

But mostly, I’m just grateful that some miracle resulted in her giving birth to me.

One of my goals in moving from Toronto to Simcoe County was to spend more time with family. And when I picture my family, my mom is always at the centre.

Just a year ago, a weekend in Midland meant slogging through cottage country traffic, cramming in visits with friends, eating mom’s food, then schlepping back to the city to crash. Last night, a Tuesday, I had her and some friends over for a casual and decidedly unhurried dinner. Radical.

It’s sad that we only carve out one day of the year’s 365 (or 0.3%) to express gratitude to moms — so often the most amazing people, and the most taken for granted.

So here’s to mothers everywhere. But let’s face it, mine’s the best.

Mom and I, sometime last year

Mom and I, last year

 

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Home Sick

This morning, I woke up with a runny nose and a big lump in my throat. After about ten minutes of trying to remember what day it was, I realized I couldn’t face a full day of using my brain. So I called in sick. And then I did what I’m sure every 29-year-old woman does on a sick day; I called my mom.

At this moment, my mother is making what she calls and “immune-boosting” soup with kale and about a dozen onions. I am sitting in front of her fireplace, curled up on her comfiest chair. I look like shit and there’s a big pile of used Kleenex next to me, but it sure beats sitting at home.

A view of the fireplace

Sitting comfortably at my mom’s

Why would I rather be here? Well aside from the obvious nice company, toasty fire and great food, being at my mom’s means not doing housework.

Sitting on my own couch, I can’t help constantly contemplating what task most needs doing in our clunker of a home. There’s the everyday stuff like laundry, raking leaves and cooking. But it’s the once-in-awhile jobs that get me – stuff like sharpening my garden shears and repainting trim. Together, they make my to do list gargantuan.

I have a theory that the constant housework (and stressing about housework yet to be done) has made me ill. I’m literally home sick.

I really don’t know how grownups do the whole homeownership thing and still find time to exercise, go on dates, or call friends. Either they are better, faster and stronger human beings, or I am way more anal than I thought I was. It might be the latter, since JF has actually said the words “you have to lower your standards.”

Perhaps this illness is my body’s way of saying: “slow down – I am going to implode!” or maybe “you should eat better and exercise more!” or even “your house will never look like Elle Décor anyway!” Or maybe it’s just that the flu is going around. Time will tell. In the meantime, I’m going to eat some of my mom’s soup.

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My mom’s immune-boosting soup