Weekend two-fer: Surprises for Moms

This weekend I was the official Unofficial photographer at a surprise birthday party. Let me tell you how that happened:

Facebook told me my co-worker Emily knows my cousin Jill, probably better than I do. I was invited to Emily's wedding in case Jill was going to be there, or in case she wasn't I could represent. Jill was unable to travel from Indiana, so I took a bunch of pictures for her. I was introduced as "Jill's cousin," which felt really weird since everybody at the wedding knew Jill, probably better than I do. I had tangential celebrity status.

A lot of those pictures came out really well, which always takes me by surprise. My coworker Roxanne asked if I could take pictures at her sister's wedding.

"How much do you charge?" asked Roxanne.  You know by now that everything I do is for the story. This was already a story. I said I'd be willing to trade services, but I didn't know what I wanted, maybe my car speakers fixed.  In the end I didn't want anything in return, because I wanted the pictures to be a wedding gift.  Some of these pictures turned out really well, too. She was an especially beautiful bride.

So when my coworker Bino was planning a surprise birthday party for his momma,  he asked whether I would be available to come take pictures, and how much I would charge. Latino birthday party? There will be food and drink, dancing and love. I am so down for this.

"Dood, I work for booze."

"Oh, we got you, then," he laughed.

So there's a side-plot:  Bino likes to sneak up on me in my cubicle, ask me some jacked-up question, and Snapchat my response, which usually includes flipping him off. He told me once that his friends ask about me and want to know how I'm doing because they like the snapchats.

"I told my cousins you were coming to take pictures, and they're so excited," he told me. "I'm like, she DOESN'T KNOW YOU. She's not your friend."

So I showed up to the party, and everyone kept saying, "Hi, débora!" Little girls were staring and giggling. Celebrity status. Bino said one of them even texted him: OMG you didn't tell me débora would be here!

There was a Tia who insisted on taking my picture. I love her so much. Henry Rollins, I am getting there, man. She reminded me of the Canadians who waited outside your bus so you could take a picture of them. It's not a proper isomorphism, but there's an inner truth in the genuine intent of the picture-takers. A moment of connection is captured in the photograph.

Good job, Bino - your momma was really surprised. You and your sisters made a fantastic party. And I had beef and rice for lunch.

I had a great time; so much interaction exhausted me, not to mention the dancing babies. I don't know how they kept going all night but they tire me out just watching them. I'd planned in advance to lay low today, and laying low was done. Really low.

Today is a holiday - an annoying one, even though I am honored by it - Mother's Day.  I called my mom and left her a voice message and went back to bed. I was mildly freaked out by a knock at the door.  Peeking out the window, I see a young man with a floral bouquet. Oh, yeah.

Alia and I had discussed this: she said she'd pre-ordered something for Mother's day, and couldn't remember what it was.

"It'll be a surprise for both of us," she said.  She's become her mother - #parentingwin. I especially love the message on the card:

There are many mother's out there but the best one belongs to me! xoxoxo

 My daughter is my best friend. She is my life.

I said I find Mother's Day to be an annoying holiday. Maybe I don't like having attention drawn to the fact. It's not something we test and qualify to accomplish; it's an act of physics. Moms feel like we're failing at momming the whole time we do it, and then we get happy surprises from those to whom we gave birth: either in gifts, or actions, or the words coming out of their mouths which we know we told them at some point.

What kind of people are we to need a specific day every year to remember and honor our moms?

Every day you breathe is Mother's Day. Your birth mother, your earth mother. Call your mom tomorrow, too.  Not me, though - my momma knows me well. If I start calling her more often she will worry.
This is the picture Tia took of me.

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