My friends and I oftenshare notes about our experiences of living with and caring for our mothers, who are now in their 80s and 90s and mostly widowed for many years. I guess it’s a realization we’ve reached in midlife. That as we ourselves move toward middle age, our mothers likewise move further into their senior years. It’s a life-changing perspective—one that reminds you of mortality and the realities of growing old.
As our mothers tend to get a little bit forgetful and frailer, day-to-day rows do arise between our moms and us. My friends and I call these as part of the role reversals we have begun to accept. Despite all the crescendos in the daily lives of middle-aged children and aging parents though, Mother’s Day may just be a unique and memorable way to spend a day together.
With senior parents, my friends and I agree that it’s a real feat to think of activities that don’t require too much physical strain. Maybe, taking your Mom to a simple movie date would do the trick. It really won’t be too taxing on her to sit in a comfortable movie theater with a tub of popcorn (with no salt of course!) and to enjoy a post-movie snack after.
Better yet, take them on a day trip for a change of scenery. It’s amusing how my Mom, who usually doesn’t enjoy window-shopping at the mall, would be all the more eager to take a two-hour drive to Tagaytay or Angeles for lunch and a visit to a chapel of her devotion.It is probably the soothing drive through scenic roads on the way up to Tagaytay that she enjoys. Add to that, the roadside fruit stands and bakeshops of all sorts make her even happier to do a bit of impulse shopping.
If you don’t really feel like driving though, bring her to a nearby weekend market around town instead. Lately, weekend markets have been budding with delectable gourmet and comfort food choices.The sight and smell of comfort food at the Salcedo Saturday market remind my Mom of bygone days. Alas, by the time we get home, my Mom has bought a bit of the whole lot from suman, ham, to paella.
Well, you might also choose to spend a morning with her at the salon for some cosseting. My early recollections of my Mom were those days when she’d dress up for dinner dates with my father, with coiffed hair a la Imelda Marcos. In those days, dinner parties meant an afternoon with her favorite hairdresser and getting her hair teased and hair sprayed till it looked like a beehive. Yet, my Mom looked truly elegant those days. Now, as she spends most days at home, it’s a good thing that she does find occasion to get dressed up every now and then—for lunches with friends or even for just mahjong sessions. Yet, Mother’s day would be a perfect occasion to pamper her a bit again.
As an added delight though, and since our senior Moms are grandmothers too, we will just have to put the grandchildren up to planning a special treat for her. Just being around grandchildren and their hilarious antics and impulsive quips is enough to put a smile on any Mom or Lola’s face.
As our Moms get a year older each Mother’s Day, I know how it will mean so much to show her our appreciation and care, even without frills or thrills. After all, there’s only one distinct woman in the world we can call ‘mom’ in our lifetime. Happy Mother’s Day!