By candlelight tonight

Mother’s Day, 2011. Mom wasn’t home when I called to wish a Happy Mother’s Day. Dad said she and my little sis were at a movie. What did he and Mom do for Mother’s Day, I asked. Nothing in particular, he replied. Yet he’d promised her a trip to Duluth in September.

Fabulous! I said. And what were he and Mom doing for dinner tonight? Nothing in particular, he replied. He’d ask Mom what she wanted to do.

While Dad and I were talking, Mom arrived home. After my bidding ‘I love you,’ to Dad, Mom took the phone. We played a little catch-up, my goings-on in Chicago, her updating me on the family goings-on in Minnesota.

Do you still get breakfast in bed? I asked. She knew what I meant. When me and my four siblings were growing up, Mother’s Day meant presenting Mom a breakfast in bed. The making of the actual breakfast, supervised by Dad.

She and I laughed, acknowledging that the Mother’s Day breakfast in bed days were bygone. “He made the bed this morning,” she said.

“That happens once per year?” I replied.  She indicated yes. I joked, “the annual making of the bed!” and Mom and I laughed again.

“Tell Jacquee to lay off,” I heard Dad in the background. Mom repeated it to me, and we laughed again. How did he know we were joking about him?

Mom and I caught up some more. Before I bowed off the conversation I said, “Whatever you do tonight, be it a special dinner or throwing together favorite leftovers … do it by candlelight.”

She informed me that Dad just told her, “Tell Jacquee I’m getting the candles out.”

“All right!” I exclaimed. Mom and I laughed again.

“Something must have rubbed off,” Mom said, referring to my influence. I’m the noted family ‘romantic.’

I was thinking the same thing; that something of my being an avid romantic rubbed off on my dad. “Tell him that I tell everyone he’s the reason I’m a romantic,” I said.

‘Tis true. The way he loves my Mom makes me settle for nothing less. I simply acknowledge the nuances in the meantime.

I also know that candlelight dinners aren’t foreign to my parents. I recall, that as a tot, I’d crashed one of their candlelight dinners after my bedtime.

The ensuing years of raising five kids, then attending grandkids, might have put candlelight dinners in the shadows. But not tonight.

My mom and dad are celebrating Mother’s Day by candlelight tonight.

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