Another lovely day here, another Mother's Day, my 18th. That is a lot of May Sundays with flowers and chocolates and fresh coffee and handmade cards with hearts and flowers, drawn by chubby little fingers with colorful crayons or markers. "You are the Best Mom in the World!!!" the cards often say, and although it is not at all true as I do not really cook or do crafts or have a glowing sheen of maternal warmth and serenity, to my kids on at least one day, I think they mean it. Everyone wants to think their mom is the best; maybe it's just developmental destiny. Your mother is responsible for your very existence. She got you on the planet. How ridiculously POWERFUL is that? It's kind of unimaginable to a kid, and a little scary, too. It's no wonder that the mother-child bond is so strong, and so complicated.

Setting aside contemplation of such matters for an hour or so, this morning we went out to Mother's Day Brunch at the Purple Cafe in Bellevue. It's one of my favorite restaurants, and it's known especially for excellent wine/cheese pairings. YUM. CHEESE. Anyway, I like the design of the place as well. My only complaint is that their chairs weigh 1000 lbs. Per leg. They have several locations in the Seattle area; do try it out if you haven't already.

All three kids were in attendance for today's celebration, which is an extremely rare phenomenon. They are so far apart in age and have such different tastes and schedules and temperaments that we rarely have a meal as a family. It seems to be not uncommon in modern-day family life, but I do miss the togetherness aspect sometimes. But the troops rallied 'round:

Couch Teen, sleepy yet surprisingly un-surly...

Mr12, chatty and happy...

and MissSeven, decadently enjoying a "milk flight," consisting of plain, chocolate, strawberry, and caramel milks.

Eggs and bacon for the two youngest, MissSeven not eating the bacon as she is a recent vegetarian convert, a goat-cheese pizza for Couch Teen, a lifelong veggie. Smoked salmon, dill, and cream cheese omelette for Mama, and OF COURSE, more coffee. We also had strawberry shortcake which I did not take a picture of because it was so yummy I just ATE IT UP.

Afterwards, we leave and I ask to document this Sibling Moment. I cannot help but remember when it was just one in the photos, then the one holding the second baby one, and then the second one holding the third baby one, and that now, none of them are babies.

I'm not the best mom ever, and I am never going to be the best mom ever. There is no best mom, there is no getting it just right. Some days are great, some are not. The expectations you have prior to having kids go out the window after awhile, when you finally GET that you are really just cobbling together some kind of world with a bunch of individuals. They are like you, and unlike you. They are delightful, and horrible. Your kids are just silly human beings, just like you, and they have to figure out stuff on their own too.

This is what I DO know, absolutely: I would not have missed being the parent to these three monkeys for anything in the world. Mother's Day reminds me of my good fortune.

Now, get off the internet and go call your own mother already. Shoo.