Flower of the week: It’s MAY!

Traditions are my favorite. I’m a really messy person but I love routine.  I love something I can look forward to. I love knowing exactly what I’m going to do. It doesn’t always work out simply because of my general mess and spacey constitution but…I love it when it does.

Well, 15 years ago my mom and I started a tradition.

My mom finished college in her 40s after all her children had gone off to school. She finished two years of college and then her entire masters degree including student teaching in the course of 2 years.  It was a hard time.  Some days we would wake up for school after my mom had already left and she would return home late, just as we were about to go to bed.

Every so often my mom would include us in her daily duties. I tagged along for a night class with art supplies and a big box of nerds in toe. This class was one of the places where my love of poetry was born. These times were special. I got to see my mother in a way I never had before…in her element.

So one morning when my mom suggested we both play hooky and spend the day walking around Annapolis looking at flowers, I was torn. I had a quiz that day and my sense of justice and propriety seemed more powerful than my desire to spend time with my mom. So I refused to go. How could I play hooky? How could my own mother suggest that?

When I got to school I burst into tears. My tear approached me and asked what was wrong.

“My mOOOooooOmm! I and never get to seeEEEeeee her any more! But the qUiiiiIIIizz!”

“Ok, Val.” said my teacher. “I think you should call your mom and take the rest of the day off.”

So … I did.

And every May 1st my mom and I play hooky and traipse around Annapolis looking at the stunning May Day baskets hung from almost every door.

We’ve been in every kind of weather – rainy, cold, warm, blazing hot. It doesn’t matter. It’s tradition.

You see every May 1st people place baskets full of flowers on neighbors or friends doorsteps as a little happy surprise.  I’m sure it has some sort of pagan root including some sort of pole and something else. Anyway, in Annapolis people make their own baskets and a bunch of old ladies hobble around and give prizes to the best baskets and the winners get to go to tea with the governor.

The baskets vary in extravagance – some extremely ornate and others simple and stunning.  You could spend the whole afternoon oooing and aaahing.

Over the years our little tradition has expanded to include new sisters and friends. And this year was the first that my sweet Clare was with us.  You have no idea how long I have dreamed of taking my own daughter with me.

nice...Clare's not even looking.

This year it was HOT and crowded too.  The only thing I could think about besides my swelling feet were that of, my dear sister-in-law, Care’s feet as she is literally days away from giving birth to my little nephew. Here she is in full bloom at 38 weeks:

In other parts of my world: It’s going to be touch and go here for a little while. Our wireless router is more a of a cool weather wireless router. 🙂


4 responses

  1. What a delightful tradition. Obviously it means a lot to both you and your mom! I loved reading about it from both of your perspectives… and how special to be able to bring your daughter with you this time!!

    I want to do this with my girls next year… sounds delightful!!

  2. Just when I thought I couldn’t admire your mom any more than I already do, I’ve found reason admire her even *more* :). I didn’t know she completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees after having 4 kids and in the span of 2 years! Superwoman! I loved this post. Beautiful pictures, beautiful words, beautiful tradition. Best wishes with the router — I kinda feel your pain.

  3. For Karis — Just to set the record straight I had 66 credits when I went back to school to finish my undergrad degree. I did that in one year, including summer. During the next year, I did several grad courses needed to earn a teaching certificate and the basic requirements for a MA in teaching. Actually finishing the course requirements for the MA took three more years at the rate of one course per semester while I was teaching full time.
    To Valerie, it felt like that’s what happened and hyperbole is a family gift.

  4. VAL! What an awesome tradition! I always love May Day, too, and I miss Annapolis in the spring. I also want to know where Care is hiding that baby. Really? 38 weeks? She’s gorgeous!

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