I promise that I will not bore you with all of the sappy details of my Mother’s Day haul, but suffice it to say that I am a very rich woman. Rich with love, and all of the stuff that really and truly matters (except on the day that the mortgage or the car payment is due, huh?). I was not with my family on the actual holiday, so I had all of the loot from my kids waiting for me when I got home. I cheated and went through everything when they were at school so I could be ready to feign excitement over the crappy gifts and rein it in on the ones that really make me bawl my eyes out when they eventually got opened in front of them.
I truly treasure the gifts that measure them when they are little (tiny handprints with poems, school pictures of the kids with little notes reminding me that time goes by so quickly – all the stuff that I later save in their Boxes of Love in the basement) because I can look back and actually see how tiny they once were, but honestly those gifts are kind of boring. I am a big fan of the practical gifts, like paper flowers that have chores written on the back which I can trade in when I need help, but they get used quickly and destroyed immediately by the giver so I won’t cheat and use any more than once. I’d have to say without question that my favorite Mother’s Day presents are the things that show each kid’s personality and really remind me just how different each of my kids are. I was not disappointed even one iota this year.
One of my kids found a song that makes her think of me (WRONG! if you are humming the Elton John classic “The Bitch is Back”), learned to play it on the guitar, then performed it for me. Another kid just went with the classic “I Love You” and a big hug, testing my constant assertion that I do not ever require a gift from them on any of the mother-honoring holidays (I swear I don’t). Another gave me a full bouquet of the aforementioned chore vouchers. The other two gave me a bunch of presents that they obviously made with love in school.
One of my all time favorites is the fill-in-the-blank questionnaire. I look forward to these every year. Some gems from this year’s batch include: Her favorite food is real food (as opposed to fake food, or did he mean carbs, which I haven’t had in three weeks and I miss so much), Mommy and I like to ride the thing with the brown seat (a horse? the car? sorry, no clue), and My mommy is the greatest because Daddy is the greatest too! (focus, kid, he has his own holiday in a month). I particularly loved the drawings that went along with Kid D’s present. On the one of what I supposedly looked like when I was six (his age), had me clearly wearing red stripper platform shoes. Apparently, he is a little more like his Daddy than I even imagined. He also scored big points with the topical and complimentary one that said “My mother is good at bloging.”
My heart is full every day, even if my patience bucket is not. Each one of these presents shows me that my kids are learning that you should let the people who are important to you know that they are important to you in your own way. Do it with words, pictures, music, a love note, a hug or a smile. Do it on Mother’s Day, on their birthday, but also do it today and next Monday and again on the fourth Thursday in November (oops, that’s Thanksgiving – but you get my point). Do it in your special way and on your own terms, because unconditional love has no rules.
Wish me luck for tomorrow…