My two favorite guys! "Luigi" and Greg

My two favorite guys! “Luigi” and Greg

My brother-in-law is one terrific guy. He, along with my darling husband, saved Mother’s Day this year. Yes indeed! The day could have turned out as it has for some years now. Specifically as follows:

  1. Sis and I make the trek from different states to arrive in Arizona to visit our mamma whereupon sis and I spend the better part of a week cooking and cleaning.
  2. Sis and I literally wait on mamma hand and foot and, in between her long naps, simply wait to begin the waiting-on all over again.
  3. Sis and I going virtually nowhere to enjoy the amusements of the town (e.g. no shopping–Target does not count– and few outings save to the grocery store and if we’re feeling particularly plucky, a hurried Starbucks run complete with a heaping dose of guilt for going out in the first place)….
  4. And me (definitely–and luckily–not Sis) feeling mighty sorry for myself because my children choose not to be around to make Mother’s Day special for me!

Naturally, being mothers, we’d like to enjoy a bit of pampering on Mother’s Day.  I don’t think that is a selfish desire in the least.  Sure, It’s only right that we shower extra TLC on our mamma because we truly do love her, and when things are going swimmingly well, we enjoy spoiling her a bit.  But in the case with our mamma, our giving is expected, demanded, and too often not received with genuine happiness or thankfulness. A boatload of giving and doing on our part and a trickle of anything in return makes for a very lop-sided relationship no matter how you slice it and, let it be known that we’d gladly settle for gratitude, contentment, good conversation, calm (lots of calm), any measure of happiness…or, at the very least, a genuine smile from mamma now and then, in return.

So, speaking for myself at least (and perhaps my sis as well) we are only human. One can only handle so much of this lop-lopsidedness year after year before the seams in every fiber of our being begin to fray from the shear weight of all the sadness and emotional drama.

Bro-in-law made sure that this year it would be different and for a day, it truly was! On Mother’s day morning sis and I were in the kitchen early trying to come up with breakfast ideas for mom. I knew she’d like some crisp bacon so I was ready to fry it up in a pan when Bro-in-law appears in the kitchen and says that the kitchen will be off-limits to Sis and I for the day. My hubby is at Bro-in-law’s side nodding in agreement although not quite as enthusiastically as one would hope. (In his defense, he was still jet-lagged from an overseas trip and tired from work demands, and I suspect he just wanted to continue doing as little as possible in order to recuperate). In fact, I detected a trace of a deer-in-the-headlights look about the prospect of being in the kitchen potentially for much of the day.

Initially, Bro-in-law does his best to shoo us out of the kitchen but Sis and I are slow on the uptake. Sis is still seeing to the eggs and I am putting bacon into the fry pan. Bro-in-law persists, his voice getting just a tad more authoritative and then we finally get it after the fourth (or was it fifth?) go-around. We retreat from the stove and start for the tableware items. I don’t have to tell any woman how automatic these motions are! We cook…we clean….we set the table, etc. It’s just how it is. Bro–in-law pounces on us once again; “Ladies…it’s Mother’s Day…you are to stay OUT of the kitchen.  Luigi and I have got this covered….GO.”

And go we did. Breakfast was lovely out on the patio. Scrambled eggs, crisp bacon, orange juice, coffee and toast with butter and delicious Fratelli Carli, Frutta di Bosco preserves. Mamma even came out to join us instead of staying in bed as is her usual practice.

Our Mother’s Day lunch followed the same pattern. Sis and I weren’t even allowed to boil the water for the corn on the cob–although truth be told, we did sneak in and do it while the guys were out picking up the fried chicken order from The Horney Toad restaurant… in part because hubby asked bro-in-law if he had Goggled instructions on how long to boil corn. Sis and I enjoyed all of this probably more than the food itself. It really was quite entertaining and the levity it created for us was heaven.

Lunch–even though it was not cooked by our fellows–could not have been more perfect. Hubby joked that they had slaved for hours over the stove! On the table (set by bro-in-law’s sons) was fried chicken, coleslaw and french fries from The Horney Toad, as well as baked beans and corn-on-the-cob. Hours later (three to be exact) when I was looking in the freezer for an ice-cream bar for mamma I was puzzled to find a large wooden salad bowl filled with assorted lettuce greens, along with the tongs to serve it with.

frozen lettuce greens anyone?

frozen lettuce greens anyone?

I pulled it out of the freezer and noted that the contents were frozen stiff–even the salad tongs were stuck to the bowl! I couldn’t resist; I took it over to show it to Sis and company who were all sitting around the outside patio table. “Um Sis….what’s this all about?” I innocently ask. Bro-in-law was ready with an answer. “Ah (forehead slap)….I forgot the salad!” Of course, he had placed the bowl in the freezer to chill not realizing he should not have filled it with lettuce greens too. We all had a good laugh over that one, mamma included.

Yes… I think I speak for my sis as well…this Mother’s Day was entertaining and with all the emotional drama that colored the days before, it was a much- needed breath of fresh air. Bro-in-law and hubby saved the day…My heroes!