Remember this song from Camelot?
“It’s May! It’s May! The lusty month of May! That lovely month when everyone goes Blissfully astray… It’s May! It’s May! The lusty month of May! Whence this fragrance wafting through the air? What sweet feelings does its scent transmute? Whence this perfume floating ev’rywhere?... It’s May! It’s May! When all the world is brimming with fun, Wholesome or “un” … It’s mad! It’s gay! The lusty month of May!
May – a month of rebirth. May - named for the goddess Maia, the goddess of spring and renewal; her name also means “good mother.”
I can remember as a kid, making May baskets out of construction paper, filling them with candy, running to the house of the boy next door, ringing the doorbell and racing away before he could catch me and kiss me.
Another thing I made out of construction paper every May was a red, heart shaped card. The front of the card was adorned with a white paper doily – cut in a heart shape – and the inside of the card was pink construction paper also cut in the shape of a heart. No matter what else we did in class, the nuns always took hours and hours for us to complete the perfect card for “mom.” That was a time before state testing and ‘meaningful’ curriculum. That was a time before budget cuts and schools could afford enough construction paper for kids to cut, cut, and recut until the perfect heart shaped card materialized from the hill of red construction paper scraps.
Mother’s Day was always a special day at our house. My mom was a collector. She collected china cups, saucers and plates, green stamps and kids. It seemed like the eight of us were not enough for her, she took the neighbor’s kids under her wing, and made room in our home for a boy who had no home.
She was special.
I remember the first job I had the summer between 8th grade and 9th grade. I worked as a carhop at the A & W Root Beer Drive In on 1st Avenue. When I was driven home by the boss that first night at the end of my shift at midnight, my mom was sitting on the front stoop – waiting. I slowly walked up the steps; she sat and waited. As I reached the top step, she opened her arms and enveloped me. I slumped into her. I sobbed, “I don’t want to go back. I was so scared.” She held me tight and whispered, “ssh…everything will be better in the morning.”
Page 2 of 2 - I worked at the Drive In every summer for three years.
I remember those Mother’s Days of times past; shopping for the perfect gift at Woolworth’s – a galvanized pail, a really good scrub brush and of course dime store perfume. And the year we all gathered on the front stoop to present her with the gift she had been asking for, an electric broom – an old broom with an electric cord duct tapped to the handle.
I have grown out of the need to buy dime store perfume; I will never grow out of the need to love my mom.