Your Mother - The Person You Can't Say "No" To

So last night, in a particularly non-inspirational setting (the car, on Highway 94), I finally put my finger on one reason I feel family-bereft, even though by all "rational" thoughts I shouldn't. Our incredible friends, our not-quite-so-immediate family (especially my aunt and uncle), and our neighbors (who also count as friends!) have been really wonderful at stepping in to fill the gap, and we appreciate it and love them. And of course I still have my dad, and Patrick's mother and his father exist, though far away. Even total strangers at the restaurant the other day offered to step in and be honorary grandmothers to Beatrix. So why exactly is it not the same?

And then I realized that, in an email to my aunt earlier that day, I had expressed some concerns about not going to a spot they had suggested for mother's day brunch — something along the lines of "or we just don't have to go, no big deal." And, you know, I could NEVER have said that to my mother. If my mother wanted me to do something, I just kind of had to do it. Don't get me wrong, often it was fun; but it was always, somehow, required. Same with Patrick's mom, when she lived here — if she called a *family meeting,* he had to be there. For some reason, it's not the same with dads, and I don't know why.

So, for all those people involved in our lives, we're probably glad for our over-scheduled everyday calendars that we can say "no" to you. But at the same time, it's a little sad.

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