Ever since I moved away from my home in Puerto Rico for work, I haven't been able to celebrate a single Mother's Day by my mamá's side. In the beginning, I have to admit, it was tough. Growing up as an only kid, I am very close with my parents and would take any opportunity to celebrate them. I wouldn't be who I am right now if it wasn't for them.
My most memorable Mother's Days with her include going to brunch and dressing up to see a play, treating her to a spa day, and buying her that piece of jewelry she'd been eyeing for months. After almost 25 years of this, Mother's Day was suddenly making me feel guilty — I had put this distance between us to further my career.
For those first few years, I had no idea how to celebrate with her without actually being with her. I felt like simply calling her in the morning, sending her a card, and shipping a gift wasn't enough. While there's absolutely nothing wrong with doing any of those things, it didn't feel like enough to me. I was so used to spending all my time with her, and finding myself a thousand miles away from her felt like I'd cut things off. Every child who finds themselves in la diaspora struggles with this feeling in one way or another.
I'd forgotten that the answer was right in my hands. I could do everything we typically did over FaceTime. I realized I could create traditions that we could celebrate each year to keep our bond strong and unbreakable. Ahead, you'll find how I'm treating mi mamá on her special day — even when we're not together.
Wear Matching Outfits to Feel Closer
First things first: the outfits. My mom and I share the same brain when it comes to fashion. Despite the distance, she will always send me a few goodies in a FedEx box, and if I ever have to return something, it's because it doesn't fit, not because I don't like it. That's how I know that when I send her a dress that I also bought for myself, I won't get it wrong. Most of the time, I will purchase a clothing item and send her a picture of it, and she'll tell me how she used to have a similar piece when she was younger. For this Mother's Day, I sent her this sweet pink dress ($45), and I'm wearing this matching babydoll dress ($50) with the same print.
FaceTime With the Family
Since we want to admire each other's outfits, video chatting will be key! Because of the space that divides us, spending time with my family, especially my mom, over FaceTime is going to be vital to celebrate such an important day. We'll be able to sit down for a meal together and chat about what's going on in our lives, and I'll actually be able to see her reaction when she opens the gifts I sent her (spoiler alert: it's a flowy white dress ($38)).
Cook Our Favorite Meals Together
A very important part of Mother's Day is food. We always celebrated by taking my mom out for a great brunch or lunch date. While we can't sit down at the same table this time around, we can at least cook the same thing over FaceTime and enjoy it in our respective homes. This is also not unusual for me, as I tend to call my mom on a weekly basis so she can walk me through a Puerto Rican recipe that I can never get to be as good as her's. Here's hoping she has a great recipe for us to try this year!