How a Christmas Lobster Made Mother’s Day Extra Special
As we celebrate Mother’s Day here in the US, everyone anticipates a holiday where we all miss our Mom’s and tell them how great they were as we were growing up…if we can.
Sometimes it’s true, sometimes not so much. Mom’s all worry that they are doing it right and our teenagers assure us we aren’t, until they have kids and begin to understand just how much can go wrong.
Case in point… Christmas 2002. The best laid plans, at least I tried. But this Christmas Life Lesson is a good one, and makes for a very happy Mother’s Day, oddly enough.
Daughter Caryn would arrive from university in the US to spend the time with me in London, with tickets to a 500 voice Handel’s “Messiah” at the Royal Albert Hall, followed by Christmas Eve in Paris, the City of Lights, back to London via Eurostar train for Christmas/Boxing Day holidays and, finally, to catch her plane home, with many presents and happy memories of both cities.
It really should have been lovely.
I had made reservations well in advance, ordered the Messiah tickets online, booked the Millennium Bailey’s hotel in Kensington and they in turn had reserved a room for us in their sister hotel, the Millennium Opera, in Paris for Christmas Eve. I had the Eurostar tickets in hand… all was going perfectly.
Which, had I thought about it, should have been a sign, an omen, a bit of foreboding.
After arriving on time to the Baku airport at 12:30am, following a long day of work getting ready to leave for the week, the flight that should have left at 2:30am, got delayed. And delayed. And delayed.
Thus began the worst trip in history of travel planning.
But then, the really sweet part. The part that makes all of the above simply painful, not tragic.
The photo above is our Christmas… One we both recall as one of our favorites.
The hotel had that little plant on one of the tables in the room. We snagged a couple of the ever-present “Christmas Crackers” from the pub to take back to the room with us. With my nail clippers I cut out a star from the cracker tube, using chewing gum to attach it to the plant. The confetti and streamers from the crackers decorated the little jade plant.
Since we didn’t have money to go out anywhere, and the banks were closed until after Boxing Day, we sat in our lovely room and watched the “25 Years of Morecambe & Wise”. We laughed at that British humor all morning.
We also got to watch what has become a legend in our time- meaning no one believes this really happened. Wolverhampton Christmas is apparently open to interpretation… how else does one explain the lobster and starfish at the manger? Or Away in a Manger sung to the English melody, but reggae style, a calypso beat maybe? It stands alone in the memories of Christmas pageants. In a good way.
That Christmas that had begun, and continued, to confound all the best laid plans, ended up being the most wonderful mother-daughter quality time. Memories that we still share. Laughter that will bind us for all time.
And that’s why Mother’s Day will always remind me of that Christmas when all we had was each other. Well, just us and that calypso Lobster.