Cooking On Mother’s Day

I love to eat out. Any meal, it’s a pleasure to sit and read a menu and have someone else turn raw ingredients into beautiful plates of food. Except for Mother’s Day.

Spare me brunch at an overcrowded restaurant filled with multi-generational families. No thanks.

I’m a party pooper because my mother, mother-in-law, sisters, and sister-in-law—every female relative who’s also a mother—lives on the East or West coasts. I’m alone in the middle. And the Mother’s Day Brunch with you and yours painfully reminds me of that. I’d love to have my own mother to lavish some affection on in person. Or a chance to cook brunch for my mother-in-law. Phone calls are a poor substitute on Mother’s Day.

Since I don’t want to go out, my children and husband have tried with varying degrees of success to take over cooking as part of the celebration. This egg strata recipe is something they could handle. Much easier than the year they decided to make me breakfast in bed. Coffee deprived for the hour they cooked, I finally had to creep downstairs and give my husband the evil eye while pantomiming drinking.

He rushed up with a mug of overly milky coffee, “Sorry.”

The coffee helped, so when they arrived with the tray of cold pancakes, “How are they Mom, huh, huh?” and watched me eat them. I could fake a “Yum.”

The kitchen was another story. When I finally broke out of the bedroom jail I’d been sequestered in, I discovered that pancakes take four bowls and two pans to make. Drips, spills — all evidence that my kids love me. While they played and made cards good for “One hug,” I happily cleaned the kitchen, drank a mug of hot coffee, and chatted with my husband.

We agreed that Mother’s Day would be about cards and kisses. No more breakfast in bed, no need for elaborate schemes. Just a few minutes stolen out of our busy lives to sit around a table together and laugh with the funny, precious people who make me happy that I’m their mom.