Yesterday my children and grand-babies were all out-of-town. Yes, every one of them. Knowing this, my husband tried to think of the next best thing to gift me on Mother’s Day. What would make me happy? What do I love to do? If I can’t have my family with me, what puts a smile on my face like no other?
First thing in the morning the alarm woke us up at 6:00! “Time to get up,” my husband announced with a smile. “I’ve got a full day planned for you.” Sleepy-eyed and confused, I couldn’t imagine what he was up to, particularly at such an early hour. Still, I did what he asked, slipping into some comfortable jeans after washing my face and brushing my hair.
By 7 am we were out the door, headed to a new restaurant for a delicious breakfast of poached eggs, turkey links and fresh fruit. A sweet, young waitress quickly poured steaming cups of coffee followed by fresh squeezed glasses of orange juice. In our laps sat white cloth napkins ready and waiting to catch what didn’t get into our mouths.
Within minutes, families of all sizes began spilling into the door. Young and old sat to our right and to our left. Parents with children, grandparents, babies and toddlers too. Some carried presents for Mothers and Grandma while others slobbered wet kisses on rosy cheeks. When looking about the room, scenes from various Norman Rockwell paintings seemed to be in every nook and corner. If only I had an easel and a few brushes hidden by my side. A bit of talent, of course, would have been nice too!
Such a lovely day upon leaving the restaurant. The temperature was in the 7o’s with pale blue skies above. Not a hint of rain in sight. My husband started driving North, toward downtown, although I still did not know where we were going until he finally got off on a familiar exit. To the right, on the corner was a shop forever advertising, “1904 World’s Fair Donuts.” Then I knew. My husband pulled into the next parking lot. We were at one of my favorite places in all of the world, the Missouri Botanical Gardens. I breathed in, then out before my adrenaline started kicking in. So excited I was! Grabbing my I-Phone to jump out of the car, I hugged my husband around his neck, before clasping his hand to skip to the main entrance like a child full of glee. Only it was ME!
For the next several hours I snapped pictures galore of flora and fauna to my hearts content. So excited, I never sat down! Not once, until we left the gates near mid-afternoon. On the way home, my husband discovered an old-fashioned dairy where home-made ice-cream was hand-dipped from giant cardboard tubs of paper brown. There, we stopped to sit and eat dribbling waffle cones while I looked over my masterpieces from beginning to end.
My husband knows me so well. Not celebrating with family on Mother’s Day would have saddened me, but taking pictures of natural beauty is filled with inspiration and happiness. It was the next best thing in all of the world.
*all photography copyright Kim Gosselin 2016