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Two Decades of Kids and Counting

By Sally Torbey

About this blog: About this blog: I have enjoyed parenting five children in Palo Alto for the past two decades and have opinions about everything to do with parenting kids (and dogs). The goal of my blog is to share the good times and discuss the ...  (More)

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The best Mother's Day ever

Uploaded: May 10, 2014
I have unintentionally set myself up for the best Mother's Day ever, not by being an especially caring, patient, and attentive parent in anticipation of the big day, but by being completely absent. I was away unexpectedly helping out our eldest daughter in the Midwest for a week, and then returned home only to be promptly bedridden with the flu. Everyone in the family, including the dog, coped admirably during my absence and illness, but there was much left undone, making it even more obvious than usual what I contribute. Our youngest was the most amazed and actually uttered that time worn phrase,"I never realized how much you do, Mom, until you stopped doing it!"

It was difficult being away unexpectedly, and completely miserable being sick, but the silver lining is that my family is really happy to have me back, and I am happy to be back, and feeling more appreciated than ever.

Happy Mother's Day!

What is it worth to you?


Posted by Debbie, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on May 10, 2014 at 5:57 pm

Happy Mother's Day! Apparently, like a highly skilled athlete, you make your job look effortless to your children!

Posted by Sally Torbey, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on May 10, 2014 at 6:22 pm

Sally Torbey is a registered user.

Thanks, Debbie, that's a great way to frame it!

Posted by PR, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on May 10, 2014 at 10:26 pm

Sweet, Sally! Happy Mother's Day!

Posted by LJ, a resident of another community,
on May 11, 2014 at 5:48 am

Happy Mother's Day! I hope you are completely better and that all is as good as it can be in the Midwest!!

Posted by Mother of 4, a resident of Palo Verde School,
on May 11, 2014 at 8:00 am

Thought it might be interesting to give some history about Mother's Day. Mothering Sunday was a church holy day in the middle of Lent back in England whereby the servants of the local gentry were given a day from work specifically for them to visit their home church or their mother church. Obviously this meant that they would be able to visit their parents or often just their mothers. On the way walking to visit the church they would pass wild flowers and pick some to decorate their mother churches or to give as small gifts to their mothers. Since this happened in the middle of the austere season of Lent, it was a time to look forward to and enjoy before the Easter celebration.

Somewhere along the line, this got commercialized and became the Mother's Day that we think of today. It is interesting that in the UK and Ireland it is still celebrated in the middle of Lent and so changes each year just like Easter.

It is now a time of family celebrations and many families still prefer a simple celebration of gathering together at home with the family waiting on mom rather than her doing any work. All the hype is just another Hallmark Holiday.

Posted by Kirsten Jayne, a resident of Community Center,
on May 11, 2014 at 8:34 am


A great reminder of why we do what we do. And thanks Mother of 4 for the historical perspective...I had never heard that story.

Posted by Sally Torbey, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on May 11, 2014 at 9:01 am

Sally Torbey is a registered user.

Thanks LJ and PR!
Thanks Mother of 4 for the story behind the occasion. I like that the day evolved from a tradition of taking time from the daily tasks to visit home and church.
Thanks, Kirsten Jayne, it is nice to take a moment to remember!

Posted by GC, a resident of Community Center,
on May 13, 2014 at 3:27 pm


You make everything you do look effortless by your calm reassuring ways. Thank you for all that you do and for sharing your best Mother's Day ever... well done and congrats. Thank you Mother of 4 for the background.

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