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Vail Family Matters: A Mother’s Day wish list

Jill Marchione Papangelis
Family Matter
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado –Since Mother’s Day is approaching, I thought I’d give my kids a list of gift ideas (just in case they aren’t prepared).

Things I wish I had:

1. A grocery service: I’ve never had a nanny or housekeeper, never wanted one. My ultimate luxury would be having someone go to the market, check off my list, and bring the booty home to me. I’d probably rather clean 25 toilets and have a root canal than visit the grocery store. You would think, because I love to cook so much, I’d look forward to strolling the aisles, taking my time smelling the cantaloupes – but for some reason, grocery shopping leaves me hoping for death’s sweet relief.



2. The faith and fortitude of Martin Luther King, Jr. (which immediately makes me feel horrified at my previous whiny remark about grocery trips), as well as the patience and forgiveness of Nelson Mandela (nice icing on the humanity cake – also would allow me to forgive myself for occasional whiny remarks).-

3. Free airfare for life. I wish taking my family everywhere we want to go in the world wasn’t so cost-prohibitive. Is it too much to ask to get a family of six on an airplane for, say, $75? They deserve to taste the crepes in Paris. I deserve the Bellini in Venice.



4. An ocean front cottage, toes in the sand, music, umbrella drinks.

Wow, I’m pretty proud of how short my list is. I mean, I could go for longer summers in the Rockies, scuba diving every morning, more hours in the day, financial independence for everyone, the end of all hunger and a lifetime gift certificate for shoes at Nordstrom, but I wouldn’t want to seem greedy or unrealistic.

My all-time favorite Mother’s Days:



1995: There may be nothing better than a new baby on Mother’s Day. Waking up to my daughter’s delightful, new voice, all that pink (after having two boys), and a roomful of fresh flowers (some for Mother’s Day, some from my daughter’s birth) was tremendous. The sight of this gorgeous girl took my breath away. I knew from the start I was in for something singular with her. My mom flew in to help, so I had that added fortune. Coffee in the morning with all three of us – the brand new, medium, and not-so-new versions of the ladies in our family – was just lovely (even if my cup had to be decaf).

2002: I almost lost my youngest son when he was four. I lived at the hospital during that time and remember marking each long day off my calendar. After ages in ICU, he came home ahead of schedule, shortly before Mother’s Day. His recovery was excruciating (he was re-learning to walk at the time), but he managed (completely bandaged up and with immense help from his brothers and sister) to make a breakfast tray with Italian biscotti, fresh berries and the best espresso I’ve ever tasted. My oldest son carried him in while my other two managed the tray. He had a strained smile, but was smiling nonetheless. Unforgettable.

2007: A walk on the beach. It may sound simple, but my last Mother’s Day living in California, my oldest son came home in the morning and he and I took a long walk together. He talked to me about what was going on in college, girls, his future and beer pong. I don’t know why, but exactly at that moment, I felt I had raised him well. He had made so many great choices (except, of course, for the beer pong), in the face of some unexpected hardship and I was enormously proud. That was a good day.

I greatly admire moms and I wish every mother the kind of Mother’s Days I’ve experienced – each one simple, but exceedingly memorable. Forget my list of gift ideas, except for a handmade card from my youngest, a clean room from my daughter, a poem from my 17-year-old, a call home from my oldest, and a lingering glass of wine with my husband, I don’t want anything at all. That sounds like a perfect day to me.

Jill Marchione Papangelis is a freelance writer and mother of four. She lives in Edwards with her family. Send column suggestions or comments to-jillscolumn@gmail.com.


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