Merry Christmas from The Dakotan!
[Photo: submitted by Amy Allender]
[Photo: submitted by Amy Allender]

She's Not From Around Here: Mother's Day

Amy Allender
 May 5, 2022

My birthday falls right after Christmas. Often the day is spent in the car or airport traveling to or from visiting family. The business of Christmas and New Year’s can put my ideals for a birthday celebration on the backburner. Plus, I’m usually too tired from all the Christmas-ing to do much birthday-ing.

Then, I became a mom and my petty birthday woes were behind me.

There’s this whole day dedicated to moms. The family treats the mom extra special. You get gifts. Everyone tells you how great you are and how much they love you. You’re asked what you want to do. The weather is usually nice. Often, there are homemade cards involved.

It’s Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day is so great. There are no complicated traditions to explain. There’s no tricky dynamic between Santa and Jesus to navigate. No costumes, no treats to send to school, no candy overload. It’s simple: you have a mom, you do something thoughtful for her — because she’s your mom, and you wouldn’t exist if she hadn’t gracefully shared her body with you for nine months.

When I discovered the joy of Mother’s Day, I sort of dubbed it a “second birthday” for me. Who cares if I’m too exhausted to celebrate in December — May is coming!

Holidays can be tricky for folks who aren’t native to the town they’re living in. We don’t always know what to do, where to celebrate. We don’t have traditions in place or a gathering to attend with extended family. Sometimes that can be awkward or lonely.

For me, this is another reason Mother’s Day is so easy. Right now, my boys are little and still at home. Mother’s Day has prepackaged party attendees who are forced (both by birth and because I can still physically overpower them) to hug me and allow me to kiss their dimpled cheeks.

I know who I’ll be brunching with. I know I won’t be lonely. I know I won’t need to host a gathering or hope someone invites me to theirs.

Someday that will all change. My boys will grow taller, stronger, and (hopefully) move out and on to their own grown-up lives. That day is not today. Until that day comes, I’ll savor Mother’s Day with everything I have inside.

So, how does the woman who loves Mother’s Day and Minot celebrate? Glad you asked.

I snag Mother’s Day as an entire weekend. Why limit the fun to 24 hours, when you can aim higher? Therefore, my celebration will begin with a trip to the zoo on Friday morning. If it’s raining — we’ll swap the zoo for open gym at Gymagic. Friday evening we’ll hit the Shrine Circus. My love for the circus runs deep. The fact that the circus coincides with Mother’s Day is a gift itself.

Yup, the tiger still has us beat. [Photo: Amy Allender]

Saturday, I’ll head to Green Thumb Greenhouse to ogle the plants, breathe the humid air and ponder which geraniums I’ll put on my porch this summer.

Sunday, we’ll go out to one of my favorite restaurants after church: Schatz Crossroads. I’ll be getting the hashbrown combo with rye toast. Is a truck stop diner an obvious place for Mother’s Day brunch? Maybe not. But I’m not one to settle for the obvious choice. If you’re not from around here, you’ll just need to trust me on this: Schatz is a treasure, worthy of your brunch needs.

Does this even need a caption? Because let's be honest, this place is kind of a big deal around here. [Photo: Amy Allender]

Need gift ideas? Here are a few Minot-centric items I love getting as gifts.

  1. A gift card to one of Minot’s local coffee shops.
  2. An annual zoo pass — an easy activity to fill time with kids when school is out.
  3. A Roosevelt Park Pool pass — again, an easy and fun way to make it to nap time.
  4. A Green Thumb Greenhouse or Lowe’s Garden gift card
  5. A family photo session — booked and set up. Just tell me when to show up. Minot’s got loads of great photographers, book one now for family photos or a sunflower photo session!

Happiest Mother’s Day to all the NoDak moms out there. May your day be filled with kisses, art projects, gratitude and all the things you love.

Do you have an observation that is uniquely Dakotan or Minot? I’d love to hear from you. Reach me on Instagram @amy_allender or by email at amy.allender@mydakotan.com

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