I’ll say this about Mother’s Day, 2020: It’s not one that will be forgotten.
Most years around late April, when my wife and I start talking about Mother’s Day plans and how we’ll celebrate with our creators, I’ll throw out an idea and she’ll say “we did that two years ago. Or was it three? Or wait, was it last year?”
They all kind of blend together after a while. One year we did a planetarium, another year a nice brunch, another time we went to a botanical garden, but you know, I can’t remember one from the next.
But yeah I think this year I’ll remember what we did. Because as with everything these days, our Mother’s Day celebrations were like none we’ve ever done before.
Saturday we did Mother’s Day with my mother-in-law, and with the temperature in the high 40s in New York (it’s May, right?) we spent about an hour in the parking lot of a school near my in-laws’ apartment. Our boys rode around on their little bikes, we did some running races, and played Simon Says, which we’ve discovered in the last few months is a perfectly fun social distancing game (Simon stands six feet away from all the players, and we can still follow instructions just fine).
That night we played our new favorite FaceTime activity with my in-laws: FaceTime Yahtzee. We each have our own set of dice and scorecards, and my 5-year-old gets to count everyone’s score on the dice (it’s a math lesson AND a game, he loves it!), and Saturday Nate got his all-time highest score. So that was fun.
Sunday we celebrated with my side of the family in the parking lot of a big park near our house (Seriously, I’ve spent so much time in parking lots the last few months, I’ve made up for all the tailgating I’ve missed in my life. For years while walking through stadium lots on my way to cover a sporting event, I’ve wondered why anyone would want to drink beer, outside, next to their car. Now I’m living the tailgating life, but without the drinking).
This time, with my sister, brother-in-law and 15-year-old nephew, and my Mom and stepdad, we sat around talking, ate some donuts, and kept the little ones occupied with bike riding, running races and, of course, doing whatever Simon told us.
All while wearing our masks and sitting far apart. No hugging and kissing, no playful pats on the arm, no touching at all. And posing for that photo (above).
It should’ve felt much stranger, but it’s all starting to feel normal.
We’ve all been acting “distant” from each other for long enough now that it’s becoming routine. And that’s pretty scary.
My mother told me a few days ago that the only gift she wanted this year was to hug her family. I told her that’s the only gift I couldn’t give her.
My son asked Sunday when this will all be over. Instead of lying to him and saying “soon!” we’ve been saying we just didn’t know. Nobody knows.
Nobody knows anything right now. All we can do is make the best of it, have some fun honoring our Moms on Mother’s Day, and plow forward into the unknown.
Hope all the mothers out there had a great Mother’s Day, one I’m sure none of us will ever forget.
Next year, let’s get back to boring brunch in a restaurant, please.
**Next up today, “Saturday Night Live” was back this weekend with another of its’ “at home” episodes, and yeah, it’s not the same as being in a studio with an audience, but some of the sketches are still pretty freaking funny.
This one cracked up me and the wife; it’s certainly something we could relate to these days. “Let Kids Drink,” America!
Really great stuff.
**Finally today, I try really hard to stay away from the truly-insane world of right wing conspiracy theories.
Because sure, they’re entertaining in a bizarre “can you believe some people actually BELIEVE this shit?” kind of way, but they also shine a lot of some truly dark and disturbing stuff. Like, dangerous, completely asinine stuff.
Still, every once in a while something comes across my radar that, even for the right wing nutosphere, is something to behold.
You may not have heard of OAN, the cable news network that’s like a militant offshoot of Fox News, where the craziest and most insane pro-Trump stories live.
John Oliver on “Last Week Tonight” did a magnificent takedown of the channel a few weeks back, and I highly recommend watching it.
But what I want to share is a four-minute piece the network aired last week, concerning Covid-19, George Soros, the Clintons, and well… I really can’t freaking explain it. Just watch it, and realize that there are many people among us who believe this stuff. It’s truly one of the most amazing “news” pieces I’ve ever seen.
Wow. Just… wow.