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Happy Mother’s Day!

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When I was a kid, I used to sneak out on the Saturday night before Mother’s Day and traipse through the backyard and neighborhood to find a big bouquet of lilacs for my Mom. (Not from the neighbor’s yards, but the island in the middle of the street – relax and leave the po-po out of my poignant story.) It would be dark, but once my eyes adjusted it was second-nature to navigate through the night, blending into bushes when the rare car would pass, or simply walking nonchalantly down the street as if I belonged. So many things in life get ignored if they look like they belong. I’d wrestle with the branches, but if bent at the proper angle, you could snap them off without the use of pruning shears. (At least, I could do it as a kid – now I’m not so sure.) Often, the bunches would be heavy with rain or night dew, and by the time I got home my arms and pants would be damp and covered in stray wet leaves.

It was the least I could do for my Mom, who had done so much for us, and a bouquet of lilacs would always pale to the kind of grand gifts I would have liked to give her, but it was the best a kid could muster. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers celebrating today – you truly have the hardest job in the world. And a special thanks to my Mom, who never once complained about it.

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