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Second Mother’s Days during lockdown inspires new family traditions (3 photos)

Local family will celebrate virtually with loved ones in India with thumb prints and cake

Lockdown and social distancing have hit another Mother’s Day, and the usual outings such as spa dates, brunches and some pre-pandemic traditions are on pause. But there are alternatives to setting new ways to celebrate your mother, grandmother, aunt or even that special someone who means the world to you. 

There are many ways to celebrate Mother’s Day this year and for one family, it is by a thumbprint and a slice of cake. 

Lovleen Sharma and her husband Harsh Goyal moved to Sault Ste. Marie from India in July 2020 as part of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). Sharma and her husband would have been here sooner, but they experienced significant delays because of the pandemic. 

“We got our Visas just three days before Canada announced the lockdown in March last year,” she said. “Our plans were to come in April, but we could not come till the end of July because of the travel ban.” 

Experiencing delays gave her more time to spend with her mother and gave her the idea for a memorable Mother’s Day lockdown. – one that would inspire a new tradition for her family. 

“We always used to take pictures and pictures. They are great things to keep as memories… I decided something different this year that I can leave with my parents when I travel to Canada.”

During Mother’s Day of last year, Sharma confirmed with her family that she and her husband would be moving to Canada. From there, she got creative with the idea of preparing a coffee-stained piece of paper and leaving a thumb impression for a keepsake.

“What we did last year was bake a cake at home for mom and put our thumb impressions on a paper as a memory… We actually nail polished each of our thumbs for the impression and put which lockdown it was and which day it was,” she said. 

“I left this with my parents so they can keep it with them,” Sharma said.

Unfortunately, this year, Sharma will be celebrating differently with her mother, as she is still in India. She will still follow the thumb impression tradition, just virtual and with a bit of help from a scanner. 

“Again, it’s a lockdown in both India and Canada, so we’ll be doing it virtually,” she said. “Mom will bake something there, and we will bake over here. Through Zoom or a Facebook call, we are going to celebrate it together. 

“We’ll put them (thumb impressions) on paper, we’ll scan and send it to them, and they can take a print, and they’ll put their impressions, and they can send the picture of it to us. We’ll take a print so that both of us have it. We’ll write down the date and which lockdown is currently going on in both countries,” she said.

Sharma plans to continue this tradition for Mother’s Day and other Mother’s Day’s moving forward. She does hope that once travel picks up again, she will get her mother to Canada. 

“Next year, if I can get my parents visitor Visas, they can be here with us on Mother’s Day. That would be wonderful,” Sharma said. 

For another family celebrating Mother’s Day, this is the first time Spencer Watts will be with his mother since moving to Ottawa nearly 10 years ago. He will have the opportunity for an in-person Mother’s Day instead of a virtual celebration and flowers delivered to his mother’s doors.

“I’ll actually see my mom for the first Mother’s Day in nine years,” he said. “I’ve always lived away.”

Watts would usually send his mother a bouquet from Bloomex on this particular day, but this year he is excited he can do more. Since the pandemic, he has had to move home. 

“I can do much more now that I’m here. It’s one of the blessings of my relocation,” he said. “I’m going to get some flowers for her and drop off some breakfast, and I got her a cookbook for her air fryer that she’s obsessed with,” Watts said.

Individuals have thought about other ideas for Mother's Day, such as a game night on Zoom or a Zoom dinner.

Leave a message on the driveway with chalk or put up a lawn sign. If you live with your mother, grandmother, or aunt, try making them breakfast in bed. Or have a cozy pyjama brunch. There are many things to do to celebrate this year, and it’s just about getting creative and making it your own.

Danielle Dupuis

About the Author: Danielle Dupuis

Danielle Dupuis is a freelance writer in Sault Ste. Marie. She covers community events, local athletics, non-profits and anyone doing something positive for the community.
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