To kick off the Mother’s Day weekend, Elizabeth’s preschool class held a brunch for the moms. We all sat, perhaps 12 mothers and 3 grands, in the miniature chairs, cracking our knees on low tables. The children were instructed to serve us tea and we all managed to sip at it despite its strength, its oversweetness, an intense artificial lemon flavor.

The kids then lined up at the table of treats with empty plates, to pick out items to offer to mom.

Elizabeth selected a slice of pumpkin bread and three grapes. She brought them slowly and carefully, as all the children did, with exaggerated concentration. A couple kids tripped anyway, their offerings landing on the carpet and scooped up amidst tears. Elizabeth brought hers to me unscathed and plunked it on the table.

I eyed it with trepidation, as orange bread tends to come loaded with ginger, to which I am allergic, but Elizabeth tucked her hands behind her back and watched me with large blue eyes. I knew my duty. I pulled off a piece of the bread and thought, how much ginger could one slice have anyway? It’s probably half artificial as well.

“The bread’s from Great Harvest!” the teacher called over the heads of the kids.

Great, I thought. All natural and probably fresh ginger. I snatched a grape, hoping to avoid anymore of the bread.

“Mama! You’re not eating your bread!” Elizabeth said. “Don’t you like it? I got it just for you!”

I pulled another bite from the slice. Why hadn’t she picked the chocolate cookies, like the other children? The lemon bars? The marble cake?

“I like pumpkin bread,” she said.

Solution! “Here, I’ll share with you,” I said, sliding the plate closer to her. She picked up the slice and broke off a large chunk.

“Children!” the teacher called. “Time to go in the hall and practice our play!”

“Here mama, eat it fast!” She shoved the other half of the slice at me.

“Oh!”

“Fast, Mama!”

“Okay.” I ate a large bite again and, in another role reversal for the day, hid the rest in my napkin like the kids often did when we served vegetables.

She scampered out with her class.

I chatted with a few mothers nearby, some of them still commenting on the Princess party. The familiar dizziness began then, and I drank the rest of my tea quickly to dilute the bread. The kids marched in and I leaned my elbow on the table. It would pass quickly, as little ginger as it had to be. I never get sick or anything, just a dizziness that would progress to feeling faint if I ingested too much.

The kids sang songs with motions and did a little cheer, “Two four six eight, who do we appreciate, mom, mom MOM!”

I felt somewhat better by the time it was done. Elizabeth asked me to play with her and I gladly sat on the floor by the doll houses. This was easier to manage than perching on a chair while the world spun. I watched as all the serving shifted back to the mothers, fetching apple juice and snacks for their kids, who clearly felt they had done enough for dear old mom.

We played until all the other mothers had left and I was well enough to walk without looking half drunk.

Happy Mom’s Day to all my mom friends!

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