Like all holidays, Mother's Day can be one thing on the surface -- flowers and brunch and cards and perfumes -- while it is totally another thing in reality -- a taco feast cooked by a 12 year old, a baseball game, a bike ride.
In short? You can't always rightly tell someone else how to fete their numero uno lady. It's personal and runs the rainbow of feelings.
It's good, then, to have a few choices, some by-the-book, some not. If you're not making a taco feast for your mother and riding bikes with her, you might want to...
Go to the Old Town Music Hall. This El Segundo gem is the focus of restoration efforts, and with good reason: it's a pretty piece of the past. Janet Klein'll be there on Mother's Day, singing songs of the '20s, '30s, and '40s.
Make soap together at Kidspace in Pasadena. If you've felt that there's been too much sitting about on past Mom's Days, and not enough doing, this has plenty of doing to it. Plus, you get to leave with soap. Nothing not to like about that.
More doing together: The Fowler Museum at UCLA is offering textile-based crafts in its courtyard, followed by a performance from the Zhena Folk Chorus, which celebrates the traditional songs of Eastern and Central Europe.
Explore Ripley's Believe It or Not Hollywood. Moms get into the outlandish "odd"-itorium free on Sunday, May 12 (that is, with a paid ticket, so best join her). Does your mom have a taste for the weird? Bet she does, since it is a role that requires a sense of humor.
Enjoy brunch at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Hundreds of spots around Southern California go the big breakfast route for Mother's Day, but consider that the aquarium is one place that is actually about motherhood (you heard about the new seal pup that was born there on May 1, yes?)