Mother’s Day is best at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Growing up my family never made a big deal over Mother’s Day. We did have a family gathering but it was more about family than celebrating the moms. My mom also did not expect much more than a card or homemade craft and we never went overboard with the preparation for the day.

Once I was married and Steve and I began planning a family Mother’s Day drastically changed for me. In November 2000 I suffered a miscarriage. I had a second miscarriage in March 2001. I hated Mother’s Day in 2001. No one acknowledged that I was a mom or what I had gone/was going through. In January 2002 our daughter was stillborn. Once again I dreaded Mother’s Day.

In February 2003 our son, Matthew, was born. As Mother’s Day came around I was emotionally in a better place but still frustrated remembering past hurts. Zachary was born in November 2004. I don’t even remember that Mother’s Day with two little ones demanding all my attention. What I do know though is that every year I expected more and was always disappointed. No one necessarily did any wrong but I was putting too much expectation on the day and was usually frustrated with everyone by the end of the day. One year both boys brought me home plants from school. Matthew promptly knocked his over in the car, spilling dirt everywhere. Zach managed to get his into the house but then the cat ate it and threw up on the carpet. Ugh! This is not how I imagined Mother’s Day to be.

In 2014 I changed the way we celebrated Mother’s Day. We went to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the inaugural GP of Indy. The race was on Saturday and on Sunday, Mother’s Day, the track was open for the first practice on the oval. Very few people were at the track. We ran into a few friends, watched cars and had a wonderful day. I loved it!

For the next few years it became our tradition to spend Mother’s Day at IMS. Sunday was no longer the first day of oval practice but we still made it work. 2015-2019 we would start our day with a delicious breakfast at Charlie Browns. After we would go to the IMS museum. While there we would work on George Phillips (Oilpressure.com) trivia contest. The boys would laugh at me asking everyone I saw if they knew the answers. After we saw all there was to see and questioned everyone I could we would look through the gift shops. When we entered the sale shop I would point out a few things I liked, give the woman working a few directions and leave the store. The boys would pick out some gifts for me. They would be rung up and placed in bags. I then returned and paid for them. We would then exit the store and the boys would present my gifts to me by the fountain outside the museum. As they got older they made the purchases themselves surprising me with much more than I ever expected. Perhaps one of my favorites was a Justin Wilson print. It was way to expensive and when I told the boys that they disagreed saying the money was going towards the Wilson children’s fund so it was worth it. I still smile remembering that day. Over the years we have become friends with Brenda, who often works in the sale store and she enjoys seeing us every year and laughs remembering the young boys she first met.

I absolutely love our Mother’s Day tradition. I never feel let down or disappointed, I plan the day and am at my favorite place. The boys have grown to love our tradition too. Last year was extremely disappointing to not be able to attend a race weekend on Mother’s Day. This year we are postponing Mother’s Day one week. We had my mom over for lunch and had a sweet time but if anyone wished me a Happy Mother’s Day I reminded them that I would be celebrating next weekend.

I can’t wait to have our traditional Mother’s Day weekend. My oldest son, Matthew, has enlisted in the Air National Guard. He was due to have a drill weekend and wasn’t going to make the race. He just turned 18 and will be graduating, I was so disappointed that he wouldn’t be able to join us. Who knows if he will be able to next year between college and the ANG. So unfair to miss last year and then have this year also not work out. Well Matthew received word that the Guard weekend was cancelled and he will be joining us after all. That is all this mama wanted. I can’t wait for a race weekend with my boys.

So if you hear a crazy lady wishing all the moms a Happy Mother’s Day next week, just laugh and know it’s me celebrating at my favorite place with my wonderful sons the way we like to celebrate. I learned that Mother’s Day doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone and the day still brings some hurt for me but I’ve found a way to make it special for us and a tradition I hope will continue for many years to come. I’m sure the college years will change it up a bit but hope for a return as the boys settle down. Eventually, when grandchildren are added to the mix it will be even sweeter.

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