On Mother’s Day, the Pine Street friends rallied round David and Penny. Douglas had taken the lead, asking David what he wanted: “From absolutely nothing, no notice at all, to any kind of celebration you want for little Penny,” the father asked his son. Douglas half expected the “nothing at all,” but once again David surprised him.
“I think it’d be nice,” David said after a moment of consideration, “for everyone who feels comfortable to gather in the park. The little one, over by the school. No fuss or muss, you understand. Just an hour or so to recognize all our moms.”
Douglas made it happen, and around two pm on a lovely spring day, buoyed by a breeze that hadn’t yet hardened into a full wind gently lifting the leaves of the trees, elms and maples and ornamentals, they all found their way to gather.
There were no speeches or pronouncements. The friends simply raised their water bottles or coffee mugs and toasted mothers: the women who give birth, who nurture children; the men who step in when needed. “Everyone who helps a child become who they are meant to be is a mother,” David murmured. He looked around the circle and saw that everyone there met this definition.
And in a moment of profound clarity, he saw the gathering expand: surrounded by their own mothers, and their mothers before them, and on and on to the great great grandmothers who lived in this valley centuries ago.
“To the resiliency of motherhood; without it, none of us would be here.” David lifted his bottle of water, then drank deeply.
After the toast, the grandmothers and great-grandmothers receded back out of his vision. And soon, their little circle broke up so folks could go about the rest of their business.
Tiny Penny, however, made it clear she did not want to leave, not yet. She flung her binky, plastic keys, and bottle onto the ground when David tried to turn her stroller away from where the grandmothers had been.