I found myself in a quandary last weekend: I don’t get many opportunities to take the mick and have a day pass to do completely nothing. So I am quite fond of any excuse to do just that, my birthday and Mother’s Day in particular. My plan to exploit last Sunday to the hilt was thwarted when it was mentioned to me that it wasn’t actually Mother’s Day yet…. in Spain anyway.
Not wanting to be one of those expats who moves to Spain and doesn’t embrace the culture and traditions of where I am living I was pulled up short. I struggled for a reply to my friend who had brought it up. Curses, I thought to myself, I was looking forward to going out for lunch, and getting flowers.
Turning to the internet for clarification I discovered a further conundrum: Spain seems to celebrate two Mother’s Days – one in May and one on December 8th (this coincides with the ‘Feast of the Immaculate Conception’ which celebrates the Virgin Mary). Which to celebrate?
It’s got to be said that the Dia del Padres has seemed to take precedence at our little girl’s school, every year she has come home with a gift for Daddy, but so far nothing for me for the Dia del Madres, perhaps it’s just not such a big deal here I thought. Daddy’s had a t-shirt with our daughter’s hand prints on it, a sculpture made out of those polystyrene meat trays and toilet rolls (‘beautiful darling…. what is it?’) and last year I recall that he had a piece of playdough modelled into an animal. You know what I mean, those charmingly ugly gifts crafted with totally adoring love. Jealous, moi? A little.
Then what do you do about your own mother, mine lives in France, and my mother in law is in Gloucester. ‘Sorry mums, I’m not sending you your mother’s day cards until May, or perhaps December ‘cause we don’t celebrate it until then’. Really, we shouldn’t need a reminder about thanking our parents and telling each other that we care, and it’s a shame that special days have to be created to make us remember or feel guilty that we forgot. The cynic in us all will say ‘It’s for the card manufacturers and the florists, they are the only ones that benefit’. My little girl’s offering last Sunday, ‘look mummy, this is for you, it’s a picture of you with a crown, you’re the queen!’ didn’t cost a cent, and was a priceless work of art, to me.
So we decided as a family that we are going to celebrate them all, every single last one of those days, and every day in between as well.
Happy Spanish Father’s Day pappis, (it’s this Friday, and I can’t wait to see what imperfectly perfect thing my husband is proudly presented with).
You can find me wasting my time and chewing the fat at: http://www.facebook.com/vicki.mcleod