(Zachary Kaufman/The Columbian)
In a random — and completely unscientific — survey of people in Esther Short Park, it’s pedicures and family picnics that Clark County moms want most this Mother’s Day.
Sitting on the stone blocks by the clock tower managing five young children, moms Emily Loukkula, 32, Trisha Lagrange, 31, and Christa Hayes, 37, nodded in agreement.
“No brunch,” Loukkula and Lagrange said at the same time.
“It’s too expensive,” said Loukkula, after shouting at her 5-year-old son Ryker to not stray so far away. Her 3-year-old, Lucy, stayed closer at hand, watching the fountain.
“I want to do something outside with my family,” Loukkula said. “I’d like to come to the Saturday market and walk around, let the kids play in the park.”
Lagrange, who has two children, Cannen, 6, and Mikayla, 8, said she’d also like to do something outside.
“I would like to go and get a pedicure with my daughter, and then maybe a family lunch or picnic in the park,” Lagrange said. “I don’t need all that fancy stuff.”
Hayes said she’d like to hang out in the afternoon with 5-year-old son, Riley. She’d really like to spend the morning with her mother and sister, but they live in Southern Oregon and aren’t planning to come up, she said.
“I would love to go get a pedicure with my sister and my mom, then spend the afternoon with Riley at a park, or out to lunch with him,” Hayes said.
The desire by moms to hang out with their children on their special day seems to span the ages.
Eunice Fink, 57, said she would love to just have a nice day at the park with her five kids: Sheena, 38; K.C., 36; Nathan, 34; Jennifer, 32; and Crystal, 29.
“Just spending time together, that’s the important thing,” Fink said. “I would rather have the gift of time together than anything else. We get so busy, it’s just nice, especially with the grandkids there, too.”
Linda Winterroth, 63, drove her RV up from California to spend a few weeks around Mother’s Day with her two younger children, Jeannee, 46, and Max, 42. Her oldest, Linette, 47, lives in California.
“I just want to be with my kids,” Winterroth said. “I just want to listen to them and talk to them.”
Her daughter Jeannee James, who has four kids, Chelsea, 28; Ryan, 26; Tiffany, 22; and Jonathan, 16, said she wouldn’t mind a little pampering.
“I want to do nothing,” James said. “I want to be served a nice meal and have no responsibilities that day. And I’d love a pedicure.”
Her daughter, Tiffany, died last year from heart complications. She’s raising Tiffany’s 4-year-old daughter, making this an especially emotional holiday.
James’ tip for other mothers?
“Treat every day as if it’s your last in dealing with your kids,” she said. “Does that sound morbid? I just think you can’t spend enough time with them.”
Winterroth, who has 18 grandchildren, agreed.
Her advice: “Listen more than you speak.”
Fink, sitting on a bench in the afternoon sun, said her advice is simply to love every minute with your kids and family.
“The little ones, enjoy every moment that you can,” Fink said. “It’s important for the family. Just spend time and pay attention and love them. It’s important for them to know you’re there and will always be there.”
Even the younger moms seemed to share that sentiment.
“They grow up way too fast,” said Hayes, smiling over at her son Riley.
And Lagrange had her own tip.
“Always keep an eye on your kids at the park,” she said with a laugh. “I could give lots of advice. Mostly, though, just love them.”