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My dad was unintentionally hilarious.  He once asked me, in all seriousness, “Where do we keep the ice cream?” Another time he ate a bag of gerbil food at my sister’s house thinking it was granola. Google “Absent Minded Professor” and you may just find a picture of my dad looking confused. While my sainted mother was usually able to find humor in my father’s cluelessness, there were times when it wasn’t so funny.

One Mothers’ Day when my sister and I were far too young to understand the concept, my father found my mother out in the yard pulling weeds and weeping into the dandelions. When he asked her why she was upset, she informed him that it was Mothers’ Day and he’d done nothing to mark the occasion. He replied, “Well, you’re not MY mother.” They had no more children.

I assumed this male duh-factor was attributable only to my father. Then I got married.

My husband was at a work event and chatting with a young man who had recently become engaged. He told my husband the wedding was set for June of the following year. My husband replied, “My wife and I were married in June too.” The young man asked, “What date?” My husband said, “ June first.” The Young man said, “That’s today.”

So two generations of clueless men… coincidence or evidence based trend? Then I had a son.

One day when he was in college he called me from the Verizon store. “Hey Mom, (he always starts with “Hey Mom”). I need our account password to update my phone. “No, problem honey,” I replied. “The password is my birthday.” Pause… pause… pause…from my son’s end of the line. Then he says, “What do you mean it’s your birthday?” I say, “You know, the day, the month, and the year. Like you fill out on a form.” Pause…pause…pause. After a few more moments of pure evilness on my part, I let him off the hook and gave him the password. I’ve come up with far more sophisticated passwords since then, like the dog’s name or my address.

I’ve heard there are men who remember such events without being reminded by their spouses or Hallmark. Kind of like unicorns or flattering swimsuits.  And I’m not saying that male spouses and offspring don’t have other attributes, like opening jars and sticking up for you in bar fights. Perhaps I just expect too much?

There was the Mothers’ Day I spent in a hot crowded emergency room tending to my own mother, then came home to find my husband, daughter, and son had redecorated the alcove in my bedroom to look like the beach houses I love. Or my first Mothers’ Day when I came home after a night shift to find my baby daughter fat, happy, and sleeping soundly. There were also flowers, but the gift that year was having a husband who could love our child and participate in her care as much as I did.

Yes, it’s the mothers, wives, and daughters who keep the wheels oiled on the social locomotive. Who do you think came up with Mothers’ Day in the first place? But when they remember, the partners in parenthood do get it right sometimes, and get it right in a big way.

As for me, my daughter and I will Skype and my son is taking me out for brunch. Might be a good idea to make reservations Bud. It’s the busiest day of the year at restaurants.

Thank you for visiting,


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