For my first Mother’s Day, my husband (god bless him) bought me a pair of JCrew flip flops on behalf of my daughter. For my second Mother’s Day, the same dynamic duo opted to get me a t-shirt from the Volvo Ocean Race. (That I was with them when they bought the t-shirt didn’t seem to faze them…?) This year, we’re a family of four, and the last thing I want is a gift. What I crave is just a little bit of time to hang with my chickens without having to wrangle them into doing something they really don’t want to do…

So, I’ve opted to take the reigns. While there’s no shortage of Mother’s Day happenings going on about town, I’ll be toting my family to some of our Union Park Press activities.  (I’m not only the publisher. I’m a mommy, too.)

Pay attention, Dads–here are two ideas that will make you look like a star on May 9th!

For families with young children join us at the Wheelock Family Theatre’s performance of Little Mermaid. The party starts at 2pm, with tea-time treats, arts & crafts (courtesy of ArtBeat in Arlington), and a book signing with Kim Foley MacKinnon, local mom and author of Boston Baby. (Check out her new venture: The Savvy Factory–it rocks!) Even Pearl, the Little Mermaid herself, will be there for the fun! We’re going all out with a raffle for everyone who comes. The grand prize is a 2011 WFT Season Subscription. Other prizes include tickets to the Breakers and $50 to Upstairs on the Square.

If the kids are older (or too squirmy to sit through an entire performance), celebrate Lilac Sunday at the Arnold Arboretum. With tours of the lilacs, dance performances, a book signing with Meg Muckenhoupt, author of Boston’s Gardens & Green Spaces, you just can’t go wrong. Don’t forget a picnic basket because this is the one special day of the year that picnicking is allowed at the Arboretum. Refreshments and activities are available 10am to 4pm.

If you’re on the hunt for a gift for your own mom, may I suggest the Gardens & Green Spaces Tour Union Park Press is hosting? It’s a wonderful way to spend some time with the lady who did/does everything for you. (Three walks, three different weeks: June 13, 20, 27.) Check it out!