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Mother's Day 2014

Vivian Friedman Thal with her grandchildren, Channie and Jennifer.
Vivian Friedman Thal with her grandchildren, Channie and Jennifer.
Michael Thal

Dear LA Teacher,

I want to do something special for my mom this Mother’s Day. Any suggestions?
LA Kid

Dear LA Kid,

Mother’s Day turns a century old on Sunday May 11, 2014. It also holds a bitter-sweet memory of by-gone Mother’s Days for me. My mom passed away 14 years ago.

The year Vivian Friedman was born, Mother’s Day became an institution in the United States. After being petitioned by the likes of Anna Jarvis, a West Virginia social activist, the U.S. Congress finally relented on May 8, 1914 designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. Americans were called upon to display their flags as a “public expression of love and reverence for the mothers of our country.”

On the first Mother’s Day, Anna Jarvis sent 500 white carnations, her mother’s favorite flower, to a church in Grafton, West Virginia honoring mothers during the church ceremony. This is the historical reference of why people wear a white carnation on Mother’s Day.

In my childhood home, we had traditions, too. Dad would guard Mom’s bedroom allowing her to sleep late and her three sons leave her in peace. When she finally stirred late morning, a breakfast of lox and bagels was ready and gifts were piled on the kitchen table for Mom to open.

While Mom held Mother’s Day court, her brother, Charlie and niece Joni would stop by to pay homage. After breakfast, Uncle Charlie would pile us into his Chevy convertible and head for a fun day of shopping and yummy snacking.

LA Teacher strongly suggests you start your family traditions, too. Here are a few ideas:

1. See a show. Check your local listings and see a movie or live performance Mom would enjoy seeing.
2. Mother’s Day on the Queen Mary. From 9:00-3:00 on Mother’s Day you and mom can enjoy a Champagne Brunch aboard the Queen Mary.
3. Stroll Downtown Los Angeles. You can visit fun places like Little Tokyo, China Town, or Historic Olvera Street. You can also download a walking tour on your iPhone or iPad.
4. Picnic. Balboa Park is a fun place to spend on Mother’s Day. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy Lake Balboa with your family.

5. A day at the beach. Visit Venice Beach or Santa Monica Beach and enjoy the sun and surf.

Though my mom is gone, Mother’s Day lives on in my family. New traditions are being set. My daughter, Channie, is a new mom with two wonderful children. This year I hope to do something fun with her family as we continue the holiday born the same year as her grandmother.

Happy Mother’s Day,

LA Teacher

Learn more about LA Teacher on his website.

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