This year Mother’s Day falls on the 10th of May, which is also Dia de las Madres in Mexico. (In the U.S. Mother’s Day is celebrated on the 2nd Sunday in May, while in Mexico it is always the 10th of May.) We’ll share some about how our family celebrates, but first we’d like to wish you a very HAPPY Mother’s Day. We hope you have occasion to celebrate and honor the mothers in your life.
For our family, Mother’s Day is typically an all day affair. In Mexico it is traditional to begin Mother’s Day by singing Las Mañanitas (The Morning Song). Our father, José, and his fourteen brothers and sisters would tiptoe into his parents’ bedroom and while mom pretended to be asleep they would sing this song of joy and gratitude. The middle verse goes like this:
“Qué linda está la mañana en que vengo a saludarte / venimos todos con gusto y placer a felicitarte.”
“How lovely is this morning, when I come to greet you / we all come with joy and pleasure to congratulate you."
After this we would often go to Etla, a beautiful small town near Oaxaca to eat enchiladas or barbacoa - slow-cooked barbequed meat served with tortillas, guacamole, onions, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. (What isn’t improved by lime juice?). The finale: ice-cream.
We typically honor our mother, Jackie, with an entire day spent together celebrating. When we lived in Oaxaca we would often go to a special seafood restaurant in Santa Maria del Tule (on the road to Mitla just outside of Oaxaca). We’d feast on octopus (pulpo al mojo de ajo) and ceviche (our mom loves seafood!). After lunch we’d stroll around the Árbol del Tule, a beautiful and gigantic cypress tree that defines this small town. Or we might return to Oaxaca and while away the evening at the Zocalo (main plaza) listening to mariachi or classical music. While all these details are important and etched in memory, what is most important is what never varies from year to year: that we take time out of our busy daily routines to appreciate and pamper a most important person – our mom.
We’ve told you how we celebrate Mother’s Day, but what is it that we are appreciating and celebrating?
There’s much that we love about Jackie, our mother. Her strength, her caring, and her sense of humor keep us going. We’re grateful that we get to work with her everyday. Jackie is a great listener, able to help us transform seemingly insurmountable difficulties into much smaller, manageable problems. Even though her advice often boils down to, “Keep on working; no one told you it was going to be easy,” it always feels right, useful, and caring.
José fondly remembers his mother. She was very happy and positive and seldom complained. She loved a daily aperitif of homemade mezcalito – a small glass of mezcal. This was fitting for a woman who loved small, special things and tastes, in moderation.
While it is a bit of a cliché we’re so grateful to have the love and support of such wonderful moms. Happy Mother’s Day to you and all the other moms we know.
Stop by our store and workshop between now and Mother's Day and we’ll have a flower for all mothers. Hope to see you!
All the best,
The Martinez Family