My eldest sister--though she is herself the wonderful mother of two devoted daughters, and the devoted daughter of a wonderful mother--once told me that she had no special attachment to the idea of Mother's Day. Her reasoning: "If your kids are nice to you all year round, then you don't deserve a special day, and if they're only nice to you one day a year, then screw 'em."
But even, or especially, if your own mom shares this relaxed attitude, it doesn't excuse you from doing something nice for her on Sunday, May 9. The usual approach--taking her out for brunch, lunch or dinner--is always a good bet, but if you don't already have reservations by the time you read this, you'll probably need the Intercession of the Mother of Jesus to get them now.
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Still, if you wish to frantically try, here are a few options: The Ritz-Carlton, 24th Street and Camelback, offers a Ballroom Brunch and, in Bistro 24, a Sunday Jazz Brunch, both from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and a three-course dinner that evening in Bistro 24. (602-952-2424.) The Mission Grille at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel, 60 East Fifth Street, offers a brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. featuring everything from New York strip steak with ancho cherry barbecue sauce to Virginia baked ham with candied mustard sauce. Champagne is included. (480-894-1400, extension 5556.) Vincent Guerithault on Camelback, 3930 East Camelback, serves seafood tamales, puff-pastry-wrapped salmon leg of lamb and bounteous desserts in its Mother's Day Brunch, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (602-224-0225.)
On a more auditory note, you could take your mom to the Phoenix Boys Choir's annual Mother's Day concert, "Favorite Sons, Favorite Songs," at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 9, at Symphony Hall, 225 East Adams. The lads perform a program of appropriate music, accompanied by the Phoenix Symphony. 602-262-7272 (Phoenix Civic Plaza), 480-503-5555 (Dillard's). Tickets are $15, $10 for seniors, $8 for juniors.
You could also take your mom to a movie--if she's into puns, maybe The Mummy. You could also rent one in her honor, but apart from Fay Holden's archetypical portrait in the Andy Hardy films, Hollywood has been oddly unkind to mothers--most of them are closer to Mrs. Bates in Psycho, Angela Lansbury in The Manchurian Candidate or Debbie Reynolds in Albert Brooks' Mother. My own favorite movie mom is the title character in Gorgo (1961), Britain's answer to Godzilla, who trashes London to retrieve her baby from a side show.
One more thing: Happy Mother's Day, Mom. Your loving son, M. V. Moorhead.