The author and her mother at Matanuska Glacier on a previous Mother’s Day adventure. (photo from Masada Siegel)
At a party a few years back, a high school friend approached my husband and cheekily said, “You do realize your wife Masada is going to turn into her Jewish mother. Are you prepared for that?”
My husband, a serious look on his face, responded, “ I should be so lucky.”
My friend’s grin turned to shock and I laughed, knowing why his greatest wish is for me to turn into my Jewish mother.
My mom is organized, thoughtful, kind and a fabulous cook who makes everything from scratch. She is the perfect hostess, makes people feel at ease, a great listener, advisor, diplomat and one of the most well-read people I have ever met.
My brother-in-law Gabe agrees. He always jokes that he married my sister, Audrey, because our mom was already taken – my sister was the next best option.
The truth is moms never get enough credit for the backbreaking work they do to make their families lives better. Mother’s Day is an opportunity to recognize the commandment to honor your mother and father. It’s special to focus on the woman who gave us life, and Jewish mothers, like mothers all over the world, are obsessed with making sure everyone else is happy. Often that means they never take time to look after themselves.
My mom, a former sergeant in the Israeli army, happens to be the queen of doing for others, and not so good at relaxing and taking care of herself. So, to celebrate her, I took her to the Omni Scottsdale Resort at Montelucia for a spa day.
At first, she protested the concept of an 80-minute massage. She’s not great at sitting still, always feeling the need to be productive. We both shook our heads: Mom at how she could have a daughter who writes about life and leisure, and me on how I could have a mom who is such a giver and less good at receiving.
Entering the Omni’s Joya Spa is like taking a trip to Morocco, between the low-light entrance and a room filled with plush red couches and endless pillows to the pool overlooking the spectacular Camelback Mountain. After wandering into a most comfortable, quiet room filled with canopy beds, we headed off to enjoy our Joyambrosia massages.
After, we indulged in a poolside lunch and I asked my mom what other Mother’s Day experiences she would enjoy. She laughed, “It’s about being appreciated daily, and family making an effort all year long to be close and loving. Sharing time together and making wonderful memories are what matter most in this world.”
I began to think of new ideas for celebrating people who I love. All it takes thoughtfulness and creativity, as simple as printing and framing a photo or making a tasty breakfast.
Another idea is to take your mom away from the everyday; go away for a weekend or take a day trip. A few years ago, I took my mom through the wilds of Alaska. We took trains, planes and automobiles, hiked glaciers, experienced fabulous food and drank in the beauty of a new place and time spent together.
Whatever you decide to do for that special person, be it your mom, a family member or friend, the most important gift you can give is your time. That said, you can never go wrong with a luxurious massage! Happy Mother’s Day!
Masada Siegel is an award-winning journalist and photographer. Follow her @masadasiegel and visit her website, masadasiegel.com.