Thursday, May 12, 2011

Wine for Mom

Now you may say that Mother's Day was last Sunday, and therefore I am very late with this post. My response to that is that I am either a little late for this year, or I am very early for next year.

Or, maybe I am somewhere in between.

I always find these greeting-card created holidays a little annoying: Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day. Why should it be that I am told when I need to tell my husband I love and appreciate him, or tell my mother or father that? Because let's face it, the day is really not at all about that, these holidays were invented so that people would spend crazy amounts of money on chocolate, flowers, and fancy dinners or brunches.

I have been to plenty of these brunches and dinners in my time, and this past weekend, i witnessed many families who came into the restaurant I work at for a Mother's Day dinner. What always happens at these dinners or brunches is that people snap. It's too much pressure.
So on the day when we are supposed to be taking Mom out to thank her for putting up with all of our crap for the last 40 years or more, what we wind up doing is being annoyed at her while trying to pretend we're not and then feeling guilty about it later.

So I am opting to celebrate mothers on the day of my choosing when there is not so much pressure to do so.

Now I am not a mother myself, but from all of my observations, I can agree wholeheartedly with the cliche that motherhood is a thankless job. Really, so thankless.

The word childbirth should be enough to convince you just how thankless it is. I have witnessed a birth myself, and I will admit it is magical and awe-inspiring, and I blubbered freely into the eyepiece of my friend's camera. But it is also kind of terrifying. If we didn't know that that was how babies came into the world we would be appalled at the notion and would say "I'm sorry, WHAT is supposed to come out of WHERE?!"

Then there are the diaper changes; those alone should make you buy your mom dinner for the rest of her life. These diaper changes go on for years and years. And I'm sorry but that poop is toxic and should be handled only while wearing a hazmat suit.

Have you ever thanked your mother for cleaning up your poop for nine years, or apologized for peeing in her face while you were on the changing table (all you boys out there, I'm talking to you), or for the number of times you spit up on her?

No, you haven't. To be honest, I haven't either, but I'm really starting to think I should.

My mother made us dinner almost every night, and all we did was complain about the various ways in which what she made was not what we wanted her to have made.

She never made us clean up after dinner, or do our own laundry because she wanted us to focus on studying and finishing our homework.

She drove all of us to school, and the other millions of activities we had which were scattered all over the state of Massachusetts.

She made us amazing birthday cakes and Halloween costumes. She came to all of my school performances, violin and ballet recitals. She made Velveeta nachos for me and all my friends when they came over (before you mock the Velveeta nacho, let me just say, they were delicious!).

She put up with all of my teenage horribleness and listened to me cry about all of the boys who didn't love me the way I LOVED them. She typed up all of my school papers and stories and gave me driving lessons, though her facade of calm was shattered by the way she gripped the handle of the door with white knuckles while I was driving our gigantic wood-paneled station wagon.

She suffered through me throwing an absolute fit on the floor when she tried to talk to a friend of hers on the phone, only to have me tell her I didn't want to play with her, I really wanted to play with my sister (I was five or six years old when this happened. It wasn't, you know, yesterday or anything).

She allowed the photographer at my sister's wedding to make her repeatedly remove her glasses for photos, so I'm still not sure how much of the event she actually saw.

And she made me feel better when I accidentally, somehow, popped out her contact lens and freaked out because I thought I had poked out her eye. Again, I was young when this happened. I no longer confuse a contact lens with an actual eyeball.

Let me assure you, my mother was not all perfection: she can take being helpful to the point of hinderance, and she can have the energy of a hummingbird on speed, and she passed along odd old wives tales such as: wearing lipstick would bleach all of the color out of my lips.

And she found miniskirts offensive but had no problem with my wearing tubetops. Go figure.

No, the woman was not perfect, but I got news for you, neither are you (I am, but I'm afraid you're not). She may have had her flaws, but overall she did a pretty damn good job.

And I can say to all of my friends and family who are also moms that I know you do a damn good job, too. Trust me, you do. Even though you only get told that once a year.

My Wine for Mom is a 1995 Niepoort Colheita port. This is a tawny port that is from a single vintage (1995), and has been aged for a minimum of 7 years in small casks. This port is beyond delicious, sweet and nutty with a smooth, rich flavor. Since it's a port it has had a strong spirit added to it, so it has a high percentage of alcohol.

So it's got a bit of a kick, and is sweet and nutty. Just like Mom.