may 10, whether it falls on a sunday or, like today, a wednesday, has always been the day when the uribe kids celebrated celia. i get to be a part of it this year; it's mothers' day here in mexico, and we're headed over to my in-laws' house in awhile to help make celia feel like a queen.
mothers' day in this country can be a no-holds-barred holiday. i imagine millions taking the day off--with the exception of restaurant employees, who will likely work one of their busiest days of the year. months before el día de la mamá, i began to hear stories of how lavish the celebrations could be.
when patricio was younger, he and his friends would meet up on the evening of may 9 at the apartment they used for what patricio dubs their "bohemian nights" of imbibing and smoking and playing guitars and singing until the early, early hours. before midnight, they'd equip themselves with guitars and a repertoire of songs, spilling out into the street and successively gathering outside all their mothers' windows to serenade them and begin the day with heartfelt, belted out melodies.
it's not so surprising that the day takes on such grand levels of celebration. part of this machista culture includes, somewhat paradoxically, a supreme reverence for the mother. the worst of insults always include slurs of someone's mom--with an impact that hails from a whole other realm of verbal lashing than any ''yo mama'' joke. the ideal of "mother" is often equated with divinity here, too, in a culture that seems to have combined the catholic adoration of mary, the mother of jesus, and that of the aztecs' lunar mother goddess, tonantzin, whose pyramid of worship stood on the hill named tepeyac, where the virgin of guadalupe appeared to juan diego in 1531--who some believe to be the syncretic manifestation of the two holy female figures.
whatever the reasons behind honoring mom, i'm glad they've translated into a mothers' day. nothing replaces loving mothers and grandmothers in myriad ways as a year runs through its dozens of days, but much like birthdays, nothing really replaces a day named especially in one's favor.
mom, i'm celebrating you over a thousand miles away. i wouldn't be in love and on this beautiful adventure if you hadn't loved me and believed that the lives of your children were destined to be, indeed, big, beautiful adventures.