Like many moms, I’ve experienced some pretty different and interesting Mother’s Day gifts over the years. On this day Moms will be given gifts that might have Mom give pause and think to herself, “hmmm, did I drop you on your head or some something when you were younger?” She might really want to say out loud, “WHAT were you thinking?” She will smile anyway, you’re her kid.
There are also Moms who will get the kind of gift that will bring tears of joy, genuine gratitude and maybe even pride.
If you are lucky enough to have mom still with you this Mother’s Day, I want to say there are cues and clues your Mom might offer when and if you ask what she would like for Mother’s Day.
Some moms are coy. When asked what is wished for on Mother’s Day, they wave you off and say with a breathy sigh, “Oh, honey, you don’t have to get me anything.” This is a lie.
You might not really have to purchase anything gift-wise, but you’d better have at the very least a pretty and elaborately designed die-cut Hallmark card with gooey sentimental verse, in the mail, and delivered no later than the Saturday before Mother’s day. You get extra points if it’s delivered Thursday or Friday giving her more time to show it off and admire it. This also indicates that there was forethought in this particular selection. Moms like it when their kids think about things in advance. It shows good training.
That same question to a different Mom might get you this response, ”Please, you don’t get me anything, just a card if you want.” THIS would be MY response and it is not a fib. I really don’t want the card, but if you feel you must, don’t waste the stamp, because I know you are going to stop by anyway, I will still proudly display it in recognition of your thoughtfulness and good training. You are, after all, my kid.
Pay very close attention if, when asking that same question, you get a response like this, “Just once, I’d like to stay in bed all day, drink my coffee with the Sunday paper and my book, have some Chinese food delivered around 2 o’clock and just decadently hang out in some solitary time.” THIS is what I really want. You asked. I answered. Don’t make a screwed up face because it’s not what YOU want.
This decadent self-indulgent wish can only be achieved if the house is vacated. If you counter the suggestion that this could be achieved in the living room, this is a fantasy on your part, even if the house is empty. There are too many ‘to-do’ things in plain sight of moms that are simply not in anyone else’s field of vision.
If you offer to make dinner, make the meal she requests. If it’s meatloaf and baked potatoes, make her meatloaf and baked potatoes. A counter suggestion for something you would find more tasty undermines your own offer in the first place.
Another thing I want to say is, “Don’t expect your partner to buy your own Mom a Mother’s day card.” If you’re already buying a card for your wife, include your own Mom’s while you’re at it, unless of course your wife forbids you from making the selection. That also indicates good training.
Mother’s Day shouldn’t be a complex ordeal. It is simply one day that officially and maybe a little superficially honors Mom. It is the occasion to honor the gift of our own mother. It is the opportunity to shower her with a little more love, care and warmth that we might not take the time to do throughout the rest of the year. No material gift can match our love for Mom, but it does attach meaning and significance to the occasion in our own small way.
Here is one final sentiment that I really want to say about Mother’s Day. My own Mom is dead but I remember her every Mother’s Day with purchasing the card I would have sent to her and I give it to my Mother-in-law. She loves it and proudly displays it, right next to the one purchased from her son and I. Of course, I mail it so that it arrives by Thursday.