The three dates of Mother’s Day | East Villager & Lower East Sider

The three dates of Mother’s Day

The Pen Parentis Literary Salon season-closer features young mom Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, reading from her novel “Bittersweet.”  Photo by Kai Beverly-Whittemore
The Pen Parentis Literary Salon season-closer features young mom Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, reading from her novel “Bittersweet.” Photo by Kai Beverly-Whittemore

Cyma Shapiro and five contributors from her “The Zen of Midlife Mothering” anthology read from their work, at Bluestockings Bookstore.  Courtesy of Cyma Shapiro

BY SCOTT STIFFLER   |  M” is for the many things she gave you — and what have you done for her lately? If the cards and flowers are already in cue for May 11, that’s a very good start. But containing the celebration to one mere day seems rather unambitious, considering the fact that you came into this world with nine month’s worth of debt. This year, make your birth the gift that keeps on giving, when you extend mom’s special day all the way into June!

In the 19th century, the home was regarded as “the throne of woman,” where mothers exerted their influence on society by molding the character of its future citizens. Eliza Tredwell, who by all accounts excelled in the role of loving parent and moral compass, raised eight children in an elegant East Fourth Street row house which stands today as the only local home of its era that’s been preserved intact. This Mother’s Day tour of the Merchant’s House Museum puts the Tredwell matriarch’s role in perspective, by discussing the realities of domestic life from 1835-1865. See the family’s original furnishings and personal possessions — including Eliza Tredwell’s 1820 empire-style embroidered cotton wedding dress (part of an exhibit on display through June 30, called “Tredwell Brides: Changing Wedding Traditions in the 19th century”).

The “Mother’s Day Tribute to Eliza Tredwell” tour takes place at 12:30, 2 and 3:30pm on Sun., May 11, and is included with regular admission. Mothers, if accompanied by their child, visit free. The Merchant’s House Museum is located at 29 E. Fourth St. (btw. Lafayette & Bowery). For info: Regular hours: Thurs.-Mon., 12-5pm ($10 admission, $5 for students/seniors).

Enjoy a slightly late Mother’s Day (and celebrate Father’s Day a bit early) by participating in a unique take on the written word as treasured child — when Pen Parentis, the nonprofit literary organization that provides resources to authors who are also parents, closes its Literary Salon for the season. This cocktail and conversation-infused event features Miranda Beverly-Whittemore (whose “Bittersweet” publishes the day of the Salon), Andre Dubus III (of the bestseller “House of Sand and Fog”), Alexi Zentner (of the forthcoming “The Lobster Kings”) and award-winning memoirist, essayist, novelist and scholar, Andre Aciman. After reading from their work, they’ll discuss balancing a literary life with an active young family — at an informal roundtable hosted by curator Brian Gresko (editor of the literary fatherhood anthology “Until I Held You”) and fiction writer/longtime Downtown resident, M. M. De Voe.

Free and open to the public (21+). At 7pm on Tues., May 13, at ANDAZ Wall Street (75 Wall St., enter on Water or Pearl Sts.). Visit Season twelve kicks off on Sept. 9, with David Gilbert, Julia Fierro and Mira Jacob.

A museum quality tour: learn about 19th century motherhood, at the Merchant’s House Museum.  Courtesy of Merchant’s House Museum

You’ll find a lecture, author reading, film screening, open mic or community activity most nights of the week at Bluestockings Bookstore — and even though this June 7 event puts quite a bit of calendric distance between itself and the standard Mother’s Day outing, the timing is a perfect match for the theme. Cyma Shapiro, founder of Mothering in the Middle (“the blog for new midlife mothers”), reads from her own work — then welcomes five others whose essays from that popular blog have been published in “The Zen of Midlife Mothering.” Among those who chose motherhood after age 40: Janice Eidus (author of “Urban Bliss”), New York Post columnist Tina Traster, Randi Hoffman (a past contributor to The Villager), Barbara Herel (founder of the Improv Mom blog) and Joanie Siegel (who adopted a teenager from the foster care system).

From 7-9pm on Sat., June 7, at Bluestockings Bookstore (172 Allen St., btw. Stanton & Rivington). Free (suggested donation, $5). For info, call 212-777-6028 or visit Also visit