At Delaware brunches, mothers get their moment of recognition

A Delaware mom gained national recognition after being named National Mother of the Year by American Mothers, a non-profit organization affiliated with the Mother’s Coalition and United Nations. SAQUAN STIMPSON/SPECIAL TO THE NEWS JOURNAL

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Sunday was a new experience for Zoe Parente — a Mother’s Day about her.

"It’s been really crazy. Now, all of the sudden, I’m not just the one saying it. Now I’m the person getting all the text messages and cards and phone calls. It’s exciting," she said.

Her baby, Georgia, was born seven months ago and that’s meant a lot of her and husband Andrew Short’s attention was on the infant. But the Wilmington couple turned that attention toward new traditions Sunday, and a new chapter in their lives.

"It’s definitely something completely different," Short said. "It’s about us as a family, rather than just an individual."

Parente and Short found themselves at Buckley’s Tavern near the Delaware-Pennsylvania line for Mother’s Day brunch, one of many lunches at favorite and fancy eateries across the state. It didn’t take long for sons, daughters, fathers and grandchildren to answer why the mothers in their lives are worthy of a special day.

"She’s been there for so much in my times of need. I had two cornea transplants, and I can’t remember a time she missed an appointment. She was by my side to guide me through the hardship," said Jasmin Walker, a Wilmington resident.

Walker and her brother took their mother, Vicki Walker, to Columbus Inn for a Mother’s Day buffet. It’s a place they’ve come together before, and it’s one of her favorites.

"Mother’s Day to me is about the joy, the blessing of having children and seeing them grow to accomplish their different goals," Vicki Walker said.

There were families, like the Cronin sisters and their daughters, who had to change their plans when the weather proved cold and rainy. It was the first time in 10 years the family, who’ve fought breast cancer together, missed the Philadelphia Race for the Cure.

Sarah Cronin, from left, Cassie Quinney, Nancy Cronin, Christa Palladino, and Karen Cronin enjoy Mother’s Day Brunch brunch at Buckley’s Tavern Sunday morning.

(Photo: Jerry Habraken, The News Journal)

"Our mother died from breast cancer, and I was diagnosed," said Nancy Cronin, whose family assembled from around the area for Mother’s Day. "I’m a survivor of 10 years."

Having missed the charity run, the women skipped straight to phase 2 of their yearly tradition — brunch, this year at Buckley’s Tavern.

"This year we just sort of scrambled and tried to find someplace local," said Karen Cronin. "We just like being together and catching up."

The McClelland women, some from Elkton, Maryland, and one from Middletown, brunched in Wilmington, missing the cancer walk, too, but improvising.

"This is the new tradition. It’s our first year doing it," said Erin McClelland.

But even with 6-month-old Benjamin Fisher, her son, squirming in a highchair next to her, McClelland admitted her first Mother’s Day feels like many others before.

Erin McClelland, right, gives a kiss to her son Benjamin Fisher during Mother’s Day brunch at the Columbus Inn Sunday morning in Wilmington.

(Photo: Jerry Habraken, The News Journal)

"It’s like any other day, I guess, except I get presents," she said. "They’re all more attentive to me. I just wanted a nice relaxing day with my family."

Her mother, Maureen McClelland, was a little more willing to wax poetic about how Mother’s Day has changed for her this year, the first she’s celebrated as a grandmother.

"Grandparent is just a completely different feeling. Looking at that little guy and seeing my daughter with her son, and seeing what a wonderful mother she is, it’s just special," Maureen McClelland said. "I lost my mother two years ago, and now this is just a new life with new traditions and trying new things."

MOTHERS

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