May 10 2009

Mother du Jour

Today, families all across the United States are celebrating Mother’s Day. However in France, where I woke up this morning, it was not officially Mother’s Day. So even though our household could be called American, there was little fanfare.

By mid-day I’d left my children behind and was on the train to London where Mother’s Day has already happened (in the UK, this event was in April). Once again, no fanfare.

A few weeks from now, it will be la Fête des Meres in France. Unfortunately, on that hallowed Sunday, I will not be in Paris to take advantage of it. I’ll be in the US (visiting my mother, in fact).

I’ve gotten it all wrong, haven’t I?

But what are the rules? Do you celebrate the Mother’s Day of your nationality? Or is it a question of the soil you’re standing on when the actual Mother’s Day comes up on the calendar? If we accept these geographical guidelines, then I’m out of luck; not even one bouquet of flowers or a clumsily served breakfast in bed.

Historically, if you forget the American Mother’s Day but you live in France, you can just say you only celebrate the French one. (That only works once, by the way.) But one could argue that if you’re American living in France, you ought to celebrate both Mother’s Days, right?
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I know that Mother’s Day is a Hallmark-non-holiday, invented for commercial purposes. I try (really) not to buy in to it. But in the end, don’t we all want to be fussed over just a bit? Yes it’s silly. But I’ll take any holiday that anyone cares to remember.

The good news is I’ve not been forgotten. My darling De-facto did slip an envelope in my bag just before I left for the train station today. I caught him red handed, which foiled his intended surprise, but anyway I enjoyed some very sweet home-made cards with beautiful princess pictures (and an uncanny portrait of me) while speeding toward the Chunnel.

And the really big news: Apparently, I have been named Mother of the Year.
Who knew?