Thoroughly Modern Dorothy: Why I Remember Mealtime on Mother’s Day

My Mom and Dad came of age in Toronto dur­ing the “Dirty Thirties,” but even by the stan­dards of that era, they had more than their share of bad breaks. Mom was given up for adop­tion as a baby, lost her adop­tive mom at 14, and was res­cued from the streets by a warm and gen­er­ous fam­ily, the Farmers. Dad’s father had a prob­lem with booze, so my dad quit school to sup­port his fam­ily at 14.

When they mar­ried – Dave and Dorothy, and soon their two kids, Dale and (I got lucky and wasn’t called Dwayne) Wayne — they were bound and deter­mined to give their chil­dren all the love and hap­pi­ness they missed out on. I thank them every day for the joy they gave, but on Mother’s Day, my mem­o­ries turn to meal­times my mom orches­trated, and the good cheer and fun times we all had eat­ing together.

I grew up in the hey­day of Modern times in the 1950s. My mom was a thor­oughly Modern woman, extremely pro­gres­sive polit­i­cally and socially, but very main­stream culturally.

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