Happy Mother’s Day to all of you! In Mexico, they celebrate Mother’s Day on May 10th regardless of which day of the week it lands. I’ve been playing keyboard with the Vida Abundante Church and we had a group that was practicing some songs to sing in honor of Mother’s Day. (I assumed they would be sung during this week’s church service) Last week, Pastor Salomon told us “We’ll practice one more time next Thursday evening and we will be ready”. I inquired as to what time we would meet to practice and he said “alas once” (11 p.m.). I asked him why we might be practicing so late in the evening and he explained that way the songs would be fresh when we went out to sing them beginning at midnight? WHAT???? I thought that he was simply joking with me and I asked if this was a joke….he then explained that it’s tradition to go out and serenade the mothers beginning at midnight and that our plan would be to go to every mother’s house from our church until all had been visited. I asked how long that would take and he thought perhaps 4-5 hours.
By this time, I was certain they were kidding me and asked again if this was truly what we planned to do. The group thought it was rather funny that I didn’t believe him but he soon convinced me that was the plan so this past Thursday evening we met at the church at 11:00 pm to go through the songs and then at midnight our small caravan of 14+ singers, a guitarist and myself with my portable keyboard headed out in our three cars and two mopeds.
The first home we went to was ready for us and after singing the songs, treated us to drinks and delicious empanadas. I certainly hoped that we wouldn’t be eating like this at every home we visited (thankfully, that wasn’t the case). But, we continued to visit and serenade mothers until we had visited everyone. Surprisingly, we were finished shortly after 3:00 a.m. and I was able to get three hours of sleep after arriving home. Oh…..we did come across other groups doing the same exact thing so I knew it wasn’t just us and no one was pulling a “fast one” on me.
I went to a florist Friday to purchase some flowers and you’ve never seen such chaos! They couldn’t make bouquets fast enough! It seemed that everyone was buying flowers for Mother’s Day. That’s one of the things you learn about the culture here in Mexico – the family is “numero uno”. I think that’s one of things we respect here, just how much they value the family unit and the respect that is given to the mother, who frequently serves as the head of the household.
So, if you’re not doing anything at midnight on May 9th next year, come join us for an evening of singing! ~Larry