Kage Baker spent most Mother’s Days for the last 30 years at Renaissance Faires – as did I. We had art to make, and understanding parents.
At Faire, everyone ran about urging customers to buy pretties for their own mums. Standard selling practice – hawk your goods to the holiday-smitten children, and many lucky moms will go home with freshwater pearls or bottles of flower esssences, or at least a garland in their hair. Faire people gave flowers to various of our own who were known as especially beloved or competent mothers. Women who did Faire in family units – like most of the ladies in my group – got special Mom-gets-breakfast-in-sleeping-bag mornings from small beaming children half in costume and proudly bearing the treats on wooden platters. Happy Faire matrons wore flowers in their caps and bosoms all day.
Some years we had major group breakfasts before Opening, in the Inn Yard, cooking over the fire pit: scrambled eggs, metric tons of bacon, drop bicuits – famous breakfasts, those were. They were mainly for and by my own people, the Guild of St. Albans that ran the Inn; but we took in a lot of strays. And we fed them, too. It was an obligation I learned from my own mother – if you’re going to run a Great House, you take in the hungry and see to it they eat.
Mother’s Day was a big day for that custom. But, we were at Faire, not at home … so sometime during the day, there would be clandestine phone calls by most of us to our own, real mothers, to assure them that their most peculiar offspring – us – did really love them and would be by for dinner just as soon as possible …
Mamma was in the arts, and a daughter of an industry family – people were always missing holidays due to locations or performance times or tours. So we were always forgiven. As long as we eventually showed up … Momma had a wonderful collection of pink and silver glass from her favourite booth at Faire: she got so much of it over the years that she had a favourite.
And today, they are probably doing all that out there at Faire. And I hope they are having a wonderful time. Momma is long gone, and neither Kage nor I had children of our bodies. I am a little out of the loop this past year.
But I took my sister Kimberly to a Farmers Market early, early this morning, where we got fresh bread and strawberries and rhubarb preserves and carrots and cherries – wonderful treasures! And then we went to see Thor at the Vista Theatre in Silverlake: where they the best popcorn in Los Angeles (Real butter! Free refills!), and the manager dresses in costumes for special events. Today, the Manager of 1,000 Faces had grown a beard and bleached it golden blonde, and was dressed head to toe as The Mighty Thor. It was grand.
I hope yours was too, Dear Readers.