Friday, May 30, 2008

Mother’s Day and Cheese

Last Sunday was Mother’s Day and something of a turning point in the spring season for my husband’s family. In the greenhouse business, it is “the” big spring holiday, after which sales start to slow down a bit. Only a few more weeks of them being open every day including Sunday afternoon! That will mean some welcome rest for my husband and his parents. And me, though I can never pretend to work nearly as hard as them, especially this year being in the motherly way. But I did have to get up at a quarter to six last Sunday to accompany my husband to the greenhouse.

By 7:15 we were making interior plant compositions and having dead serious conversations about what size or type of bow to add. His mom got tired of listening to the political talk on the radio and turned it to what must have been the all-polka station. Hubby and I exchanged stifled giggles since this music reminds us of going to a restaurant in Alsace (a French region near Germany) where they serve sauerkraut and sausages (choucroûte). Anyway, he and his dad really get into making these compositions, and they’re quite good at it. It’s funny to see them bent over their work and calling out like doctors during surgery- butterfly! bird! leaf shine! to no one in particular. Well, at least a few of the things I made sold, so I must not be such a bad designer myself.

There was a steady stream of clients until 12:30 and some stragglers who interrupted our lunch at 1:15. Unfortunately my husband was taking care of a client when it was time for the cheese course. I mentioned briefly before how France is a complicated country to be pregnant in. And I was mostly thinking of the cheese.

How I envy American expecting moms who don’t have to worry about unpasteurized cheese crossing their paths every Sunday. Though my husband has told his parents I must avoid this type of cheese, they’re only human and forget to check the labels. Which leaves me in the embarrassing position of having to timidly ask belle-maman what kind of cheese it is. Which might cause her to make a little face which probably means- silly daughter-in-law and her pickiness! This time I just ate what was on the plate and hoped for the best. But when I was cleaning up I saw the label in the kitchen “au lait cru”, the very kind I must avoid. You see, there’s a higher risk of coming in contact with Listeria bacteria from this type of cheese, which could cause serious problems for a baby. So on this, my expecting-Mother’s day, I felt like a really bad mom. I wanted to call my OB/GYN and confess. Since then people have told me not to worry too much, but I must work up my courage for next Sunday and be a bit stronger about it anyway. Or get my husband to do the asking…

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