Hilltown Families Celebrate Mother’s Day Together in West Chesterfield
The Price of Missing Marbles
On Sunday we hosted our 3rd Annual Mother’s Day Pancake Breakfast and spent a beautiful spring morning with other Hilltown families. The pancake breakfast is one of our signature community celebrations, and for several families this was their first pancake breakfast encounter. I’d say we’ve hosted around 20 community pancake breakfasts over the past several years, and between the changing seasons, growing kids and new families joining us, each one has offered its own unique experience.
While each breakfast might be unique, there remain a few constants. The smoke detectors go off, the floor in the living room becomes a sea of toys, Jim juices the oranges and some things inevitably break. Coffee mugs and old china have hit the floor. Art work has come crashing off the walls. Favorite toys have been dismembered. And somehow the preschoolers end up stripping down and running around in their underwear.
To minimize the angst of my grandmother’s china smashing into unsalvageable fragments we’ve acquired a large collection of handmade coffee mugs, champagne flutes, glass pitchers, pottery bowls and platters that I’ve found at tag or white elephant sales for a quarter. One year at a flea market I found a container to hold cream for coffee that was the shape of a purple cow. It matched our kitchen (which is another story). To add cream to your coffee the cow had to “vomit” into your cup, as one keen observer remarked. It lasted for a few breakfasts before losing it’s head.
I’ve learned to approach opening up our home with minimal attachment to special objects, for the outcome is always well worth the price of fewer possessions or missing marbles. Besides, someone always leaves a really cool serving platter, canvas bag or child’s underwear behind. We actually end up with more possessions than we began with. Then six months later the rightful owner comes looking for their quilted potholder or favorite sippy cup they left at a previous breakfast. We still have a rather large stuffed lion someone left a couple of years ago that no one has ever claimed. It’s original owner remains a mystery.
The Mother’s Day Pancake Breakfast is my personal favorite, for I don’t have to do the cooking – the dads do! Jim still squeezes the orange juice, and other dads flip the flapjacks, scramble the eggs, serve up the espressos and even do the dishes. In theory, they also referee the kids… which they did rather well this year. Moms got to go for a morning stroll up Smith Mountain before breakfast was served. Afterwards the dads also walked the kids down to the river’s edge to play in the sand and wade in the water while the moms got to do the three C’s: catch-up, connect and compare notes.
I snuck in a fourth “C” – clean-up. The dads had hearts of gold but I can’t help micro-managing how my house gets put back in order. Having a whole herd of folks over is actually a great source of motivation to clean the house. It’s always spotless when folks arrive. We have great closet space which I cram everything into then block the doors. I have images of the Kratt Brothers from Zoobomafoo, going to the closet. If you’re not familiar with Zaboo, then consider it an inside joke.
After a great morning with friends, I went to see Michelle Shocked in Shelburne Falls for an evening concert that was amazing. (That’s a whole other story too). When I got home that evening, my family was asleep and the house was now still and quiet. The only evidence of the morning’s event were crumbs on an unvacuumed floor and a broken ladle that sat on top of the trash. The house somehow felt full of nurturing energy again. Energy that was positive and supportive. Energy that gives me reason to do it all again.
Happy Mother’s Day everyone. And thanks to all the dads for making it special.