Mama Mia

For a couple of decades, some variation of family members — with Bill, my sister Jen, and me as the core — met on Mother’s Day for brunch at the Greenbriar Inn just north of Boulder. Other than that one day a year, none of us has ever eaten a meal at the restaurant. We don’t even know what their menu looks like. But Mother’s Day brunch has been our family tradition for a large chunk of our adult life.

Of course, in May of 2020, the brunch didn’t happen. We were all still hunkered down, hiding from the COVID virus. Last year, we went to the Greenbriar, but they didn’t offer a buffet; instead, we ordered from a menu. Cie la vie, as my beautiful Parisian daughter-in-law would say. We ordered another glass of champagne and toasted our children.

This year, for the first time ever, none of our children was present at our brunch. There comes a time when our children want to spend time with their children on days like Mother’s or Father’s Day. It comes with the territory. And because the inflation rate is hovering in the neighborhood of 8.5 percent with no sign of leveling off much less decreasing, it came as no surprise to us that the buffet had almost doubled in price. Even more shocking, if we wanted a glass of champagne (and who wouldn’t when you are at a brunch?) we had to fork over nine bucks a glass because it was no longer included in the price of the brunch. We, of course, forked over the nine bucks. Except for Bill, who forked over $18 for two glasses. And he isn’t even a mother.

Being a mother was the most difficult — and most rewarding — job of my entire life. Cardinal Timothy Dolan from St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC recently went to the Ukraine area to offer prayer and support to the people in that war-torn part of the world. He told his parishioners Sunday that he was struck by the fact that most of the people he saw were women and children, undoubtedly because the men are off fighting for their country. He also was struck at how the mothers gathered their children around them, and how the children hovered around their mothers, because that’s what mothers and their children do. I understand that fathers also play a strong role in a child’s life. I believe it can’t be argued, however, that the bond between mothers and their children has a unique feel. Sure, part of it is because we carried those children in our bellies for nine months and gave birth to them at great cost. I believe, however, even adoptive mothers have unique relationships with their children.

Just you wait. Come Father’s Day and I will be singing the joys of fatherhood. But I won’t be eating brunch at the Greenbriar Inn.

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