A thankful Mother’s Day

By Joanne Peterson | May 17, 2012

On a perfect Sunday afternoon, I drove to West Seattle to join daughter Lisa and her family for a Mother’s Day dinner.

When I arrived, I received a bouquet of brilliant blooms, all yellow and orange. Adam had chosen the flowers at the farmer’s market—he insisted upon orange.

When I thanked him, he gazed at me soberly and said, “You can take those home. But do you have to go home, Grandma?”

Son-in-law Eric barbequed a fantastic salmon, and we ate dinner on the deck; it felt like a mid-summer day, one of those fine rare warm July or August days.

But here it is only May, bright yellow days following one after another.

On such days, I can’t imagine why everybody in the country doesn’t feel compelled to live in the Pacific Northwest—not that I wish they would.

By the time you read this, it could well be raining again, of course, but we’ll all clearly recall these days of shirtsleeves and sunscreen and eating dinner on the deck on Mother’s Day.

It’s been close to three weeks since I’ve seen grandson Adam and granddaughter Abby, and I saw changes in both of them.

Of course, Abby at 15 months is speeding past infancy, bent on exploring the world all at once, intent upon climbing up and over whatever is in her way.

Abby finds ways to become trapped behind a door, riding a pedal-car John Deere tractor of her brother’s, unable to turn it around but determined to ram her way out of her predicament.

She works at the task for several minutes before she begins to shriek. After rescue, she’s all smiles again, ready to roll.

Adam is taller than when last I saw him, more resourceful and inquisitive.

When I asked him a question, he responded, “Actually, no.” I don’t recall what the question was; the point is that I thought “actually” was the province of pre-teens and grandmothers. (I do hear myself say “actually” fairly often.)

Daughter Lisa invited me to go to the local West Seattle hardware store, where every year she buys plants—and I often make at least one trip there with her, invariably buying some, too.

This time, she treated me to several plants, including a fragrant “orange mint” I fancied.

At the last minute, Adam chose to go shopping with us.

His parents are consistent in their expectations of how he’s to behave in public.

At the hardware store, while his mom paid, Adam lingered behind, staring at colorful packages of candy cleverly displayed near the check-stand.

I saw him reach toward the candy, but he didn’t touch it. He pointed at it. Then in his little boy voice, he announced, shaking his head firmly, “This is not ours. This is not ours.”

Everyone smiled. Another time, another place, Adam will act in some obnoxious way, as all children will. Today, though, Mother’s Day, he was charming.

I am so thankful he is ours.



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