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The mother of all Mother's Days
By John Breneman
Hey, it's Mother's Day. And, like any grown son, I am determined
to do whatever it takes to let my mom know how much she
means to me.
After all, over the last half-century, she has put up with
a lot from her first-born pranks, wisecracks, tantrums
on topics ranging from lima beans (but I hate them) to high-top
sneakers (pleeeaase) as she gracefully guided my
metamorphosis from cranky baby to cranky man. (Look how
beautiful she is in the photo above, posing with yours truly
sporting my favorite Sunday bonnet.)
But enough talk. Let's get to it.
Consistently voted one of the top mothers on the planet
by an independent panel of people to whom she has given
birth, my mom awakens to the intoxicating aroma of the finest
Turkish coffee in all of Portsmouth.
The menu for my custom "breakfast in bed" Extreme
Mother's Day amenity features a dizzying array of culinary
delicacies, including but not limited to French toast imported
from Paris, her beloved lobster mac and cheese, and a mimosa
made with hand-squeezed oranges from the finest Hannaford's
in the land.
Maybe even a pound of eels harvested in Hampton. You probably
heard these little buggers go for as much as $3,000 a pound
in parts of Asia. They sure must be delicious.
Now I know poaching eels is, as they say, eel-legal. But
I figure a real son ought to be able to handle a short jail
term to treat his mom to the mother of all Mother's Days.
On second thought, scratch the eels. And while we're at
it, let's say "no" to the escargot.
But the abnormally large fresh raspberries are served with
a fondue medley featuring melted brown gold from the state-of-the-art
Lindt & Sprungli chocolate factory.
Of course, there will be flowers. But not just the kind
that grow in the dirt and smell pretty. Every mom gets those.
I'm busting out a bouquet hand-blown by Dale Chihuly, the
legendary glass artist whose work she enjoys.
After Leonard Cohen wraps up his personal mini-concert
in her living room, I whisk my mom aboard a hired chopper
for the quick flight down to New York, where we will enjoy
VIP seating at a Broadway play I have written and staged
recounting her remarkable life. (Vanity Fair: "Helen
Mirren is mesmerizing!")
From there, we'll luxuriate in the stretch limo I've hired
to roll up at her choice of Manhattan hotspots the
Gramercy Tavern, Trump's Diner or Forkie's Charcuterie.
Her spa treatment at Ohm is nothing fancy just a
typical full-body avocado immersion bath and hot-gemstone
massage with the usual assortment of brick oven-warmed diamonds,
emeralds and rubies.
While in New York, we visit United Nations headquarters,
where our impassioned plea for world peace a two-person
interpretive drama featuring the elements of modern dance,
opera, hiphop and Kung Fu brought the ambassadors
of East Korea and Malawi to tears.
I don't know if we'll have time to squeeze in tea (and
sweet-buttered marmalade scones) with Hillary Clinton and
Maya Angelou, but I hope so.
From there we skip, hand in hand, to my rented Gulfstream
luxury jet for a quick jaunt to Africa to fulfill my mother's
lifelong dream of frolicking with the meerkats. (Or was
it the dolphins?)
After quick stops at the Pyramids and the Great Wall, we
soar up to Kennebunkport where former president George H.W.
Bush has promised us a ride on one of his cigarette boats.
Swell guy, that Bush.
From there, we submarine it down the coast, up the Piscataqua
and back to Portsmouth. (What, you forgot to rent your mom
a private, submersible watercraft? Mmm.)
Now my mom is not particularly fond of heights so we err
on the side of NOT tandem bungee jumping off the I-95 bridge.
Back home, it is the perfect time to unveil my two-hour
documentary about her remarkable life as a wife, mother
and children's store entrepreneur.
Titled simply "Jill," and narrated of course
by Robert Redford and Jon Hamm, it traces her life story
from her idyllic childhood in Crafton, Pa., to her epic
pilgrimage to York, Maine, and then on to Portsmouth. The
piece concludes with never-before-seen footage of her high
school graduation the most emotionally evocative
piece of film I have ever seen.
So, as you have probably already surmised, the above itinerary
has been slightly exaggerated. (But G. Willikers! It's her
fault really, and my dad's, for sticking me with somewhat
of a wild imagination.)
Though my mom might enjoy a whirlwind, multi-state Mom
Day tour de force, I suspect she would rather spend Mother's
Day what she calls the "traditional" way.
That means working at the family business with her daughter,
then zipping across town to see her daughter's daughter
(my niece if you do the math) in the internationally acclaimed
Portsmouth High School production of "Hansel and Gretel."
(Vanity Fair: "Zoe Sprankle is mesmerizing!")
Hollywood ending: During the standing ovation as
the entire theater echoes with applause, pride and joy
I hug my mom and tell her that I love her. Happy Mother's
-- 30 --
* This column appeared in the Sunday, May 12, 2013, Portsmouth
Posted on May 12, 2013 10:03 PM
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