Catherine’s card had come in the post the day before, but she didn’t like to put it out until the actual day. That wasn’t really in the spirit was it? It was simple and generic card with a very pretty bunch of flowers on the front and the simple signature of ‘Kitty’ inside. Catherine had forgotten to take the price label off the back, but she could hardly be blamed for that when she was so busy looking after all the children. She hadn’t seen the kids for a while now, although she had spoken to Jonathon when he had called to thank her for his last birthday present. So polite and well mannered. They were all growing up so wonderfully.
There was no card from James, which probably meant he had broken up with Helen again, which was such a shame as she had liked her. The boy was such a scatter brain he would have forgotten his head if Helen hadn’t reminded him. She supposed this meant there wouldn’t be flowers for her birthday either, which was a pity as Helen had the loveliest of taste. Far better taste than that garish Jocelyn he had gone off with a few years back. Still, he usually got back with Helen after a year or so and the two would visit and bring cream cakes, so that was something to look forward to.
As for William… well the less said about him the better. Sometimes she thought about asking dear Sherlock to see if he could find him, but it was probably best for everyone if things were left hidden. After Florida she used to wonder if one Mother’s Day a third card would appear on the doorstep just like that, with no warning or fanfare. But after a while she was able to remind herself to be sensible, after all William might never have found out about his father. No, best leave things as they were, she still had the other two.
Then there was Jane. She paused to look at the picture of her youngest on the mantelpiece. Jane who used to pick wild daffodils for her and proudly hand over soggy cards with flowers or even pretty looking herbs pressed into them which would fall off as soon as they dried up. Jane with her angelic fair hair she had never combed properly and her white dress – and she was always in her white dress these days, she must have worn dresses other than the one in the photo but to her Jane would forever be in that same white dress – with mud caked around the rim because nothing stayed clean for very long around Jane.
There was a crack in the corner of Jane’s photo frame. She should have replaced the frame years ago but she supposed it was those Argentinian ninjas that had been the last straw. Sherlock did have the most unusual visitors, although she would prefer it if they came through the front door rather than her kitchen window. In all the ruckus after Sherlock and dear Doctor Watson had come down to meet them, Jane’s picture had been knocked over but she hadn’t noticed the crack until now. She ran her thumb over the glass, feeling the rough edge of the splinter. Such a shame, she had liked that frame.
John was such a dear. He never just barged in like Sherlock did but rather hovered in the doorway and called. It’s not that she would mind him coming straight in but it was lovely to see that there were still polite young men out there when all the news was full of terribly bad mannered ones.
“Come in, love, how can I help you?”
“Do you know how to cook lamb?” John asked, coming in. “Only Sherlock was doing this experiment on that old story, you know the one where the woman bludgeons her husband to death with the leg of lamb then feeds it to the police officer? Well he was testing whether it was possible to do it without getting any incriminating evidence on yourself, assuming that it was a spur of the moment thing of course. Except then he got distracted by that florist murder and I’ve just discovered he left the leg of lamb out and its completely defrosted so the only thing to do is cook it otherwise it will go to waste. Except I have no idea how you cook lamb. Do you know?”
“Of course,” she said. “It’s ever so simple. I’ll give you a recipe.”
“Mrs Hudson,” he said seriously. “Do not underestimate my ability to get any cooking instructions wrong. You’re talking to someone who once burnt a Pot Noodle. Do you think you could come up and talk me through it? It’s a seriously big chunk of lamb, you’d be doing me a favour if you helped eat it.”
She flushed with pleasure. She loved lamb, it was such a treat, but she could never really reason having it. Not when it was just her.
“Of course, love. I’ll grab the recipe book and a few herbs and things and be right up.”
“Thanks, Mrs Hudson, you’re a star.”
It turned out that while John couldn’t cook lamb, and his idea of accompanying vegetables was to dump the contents of a bag of frozen veg into a pan of boiling water and prod them until they seemed edible, he could make a very nice mint sauce.
“It was the only thing my mum would let me help with when I was a kid,” he explained. “Apple sauce, horse radish, cranberry sauce, name the meat and I can make the sauce that goes with it. Just don’t ask me to cook the meat.”
“Perhaps you should have called her up and asked her,” she said. “I’m sure she would have been delighted.”
“Er,” he said hesitantly. “That’s not really possible.”
“Oh, I’m sorry, dear.”
“It’s all right,” he said.
But there was an awkwardness in the air until Sherlock came in with his usual drama holding a bunch of flowers so large she couldn’t imagine how he could see over the top of them.
“Ah, here you are,” he said, dropping them in her lap and nearly knocking over her plate in the process.
“It was the brother,” Sherlock said,
She had to peer around the bunch in order to see him swing off his coat and grab John’s plate from under him to start eating. So rude but at least he was eating. The boy was far too skinny.
“Dull,” he said as John sighed and went to serve himself a second plateful. “But the wife insisted on giving me that ridiculous over indulgence of flora for my mother, but as she’s got no use for it and I don’t want it cluttering up the flat, you can have them.”
“Oh, thank you, Sherlock,” she said smelling them. “They’re beautiful.”
“Tell me you got paid with something other than flowers,” John said. “You’ve still got to fix my laptop.”
“If it’s your laptop then shouldn’t you fix it?”
“No, because it was your ninjas who broke it.”
“They weren’t my ninjas.”
“They were here after you, so I think you should be responsible for the damages.”
Sherlock sighed. “Fine. The cheque’s in my coat pocket, you sort it out.”
“Oh and that reminds me.”
John jumped up and dashed upstairs. When he returned a few moments later he was holding a plastic bag which he presented to her once she had laid the flowers in the ground and regained the use of her hands. Inside the bag was a silver photo frame with flowers engraved all around the side. It was the perfect size for Jane.
“I saw your picture had a crack so I wanted to replace it,” John said. “Don’t worry, he paid for it, but I knew if I left it to him he’s never get round to it.”
Sherlock hmphed around his mouthful of lamb.
“Thank you,” she said, unable to keep the smile from her face.
She pulled John down until she could place a kiss on his cheek, turning him as red as a tomato. When he turned away Sherlock swooped up and presented his cheek for a kiss as well which she gladly gave him.
They all three returned to their roast lamb lunch, her and her boys. What a lovely Mother’s Day it had turned out to be.