I guess you can call me a mamma’s boy. I talk to my mom every day…for the past 38 years.

Gabriel and his mom

These days, she asks me if I’ve gotten enough to eat or if my kids are wearing socks because she doesn’t want them to catch a cold. I then give her an update of what’s happened in my life over the past 24 hours. Then, we say, “I love you” and “goodbye,” and we do it all again the next day.

It’s easy to think of my mom as being overly protective even though I am an adult now, with a family of my own. However, her accomplishments are the reason she is how she is. My family immigrated from the Soviet Union to Israel, where I was born, and then from Israel to the United States in less than an eight-year time span. My mom was our family’s rock, especially considering she didn’t speak the language of either country we immigrated to. I will always be forever grateful for the sacrifices my parents made so that I could have a better life.

Gabriel and his wife.
Gabriel and his wife, Natalie

My wife Natalie is also very close to her mom. Growing up, Natalie’s father was in and out of her life, so she and her brother were raised by their mother. She talks to her mom several times a day and they are inseparable. Natalie became a mother for the first time three years ago this month when our beautiful daughter, Gemma, was born. Needless to say, our month of May and specifically Mother’s Day is special and extremely hectic.

Last year, we decided to take a family trip to celebrate the moms that make this family great; we went to Cabo to celebrate Mother’s Day. The trip included my parents; my sister, her husband and three kids; and Natalie, Gemma, and myself. It was an awesome trip with great memories. Then the week after we got back, we invited 50 people over to celebrate Gemma’s second birthday. Needless to say, May 2019 was hectic!

Gemma and Julian

This year, the weeks leading up to Mother’s Day have been very different. With our son, Julian, born earlier this year, we had more reason to celebrate Mother’s Day this year. However, the impact of COVID-19 and the shelter in place orders have changed everything. No big trips to plan, no big birthday party to organize, not even a reservation at my wife’s favorite restaurant, Mastro’s City Hall (a local Arizona steakhouse).

My wife and I are both social butterflies so it has been difficult not seeing our closest friends and family. However, there is a silver lining in all of this. My wife and I are both working from home now so we get to see our children a lot more. Seeing Julian for 12 hours a day versus seeing him for only 2 hours a day pre-lockdown is something money can’t buy. He changes by the hour (and poops even more frequently!)

Another positive – breastfeeding is easier when you are working from home. I know how cumbersome and awkward it was for Natalie to pump while she was at work when Gemma was a baby. Now that she works from home, she doesn’t have to deal with pumping for Julian. The bond that is created by mother and child is something to behold. In my opinion, after witnessing that bond grow, I believe that all women should get nine months of federally paid maternity leave.

The final positive is time. COVID-19 and the lockdown has given everyone more time. Time to find shows that you both can watch together, instead of watching shows in separate rooms because you each only have an hour to watch your favorite before you pass out from exhaustion. Time to prepare a big breakfast on Saturday morning because you don’t have to rush out for your daughter’s dance class. Time to reflect and appreciate how much your mom and wife have done for you.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Mother’s Day. I think it’s time to celebrate the Mom in my house and order takeout…I wonder if Mastro’s City Hall is open?