Here in the US it is Mother’s Day today. There are some fathers who take young children out shopping to buy the mother a heart-shaped necklace, or a family ring, or some other sentimental jewelry. In my family, we don’t buy gifts or make a big deal about it. Growing up, my girls would labor over handmade cards filled with crayon hearts and flowers. I have a keepsake box filled with these precious artifacts of a child’s unconditional love for a mother. As they got older, it became a “surprise” breakfast in bed. I would stay “asleep” in bed, becoming increasingly alarmed as I heard the banging of pans and the smell of burnt food. Eventually, the two together would crash through my bedroom door, yelling “Happy Mother’s Day” with a tray of cold overcooked eggs, burnt toast, and coffee. The coffee was always good, and I choked down the rest. I sometimes received a coupon book with my breakfast. The coupon book was a handmade booklet of “free” extra chores my girls would do for me. They always included the expiration date and this disclaimer: “This coupon cannot be used with any other coupon”. My girls love me, but they are smart. They didn’t want to spend an entire Saturday completing a booklet full of chores.
Nowadays, they give me a hug and wish me Happy Mother’s Day. Money is always an issue in my family, so I discourage them from buying gifts. Even if money wasn’t a concern for them, I wouldn’t want a gift. I am a mother because that is the path I chose in life. The gifts they have given me over the years are the only gifts I ever want. Here are just a few of the precious gifts I have received:
1. Love: When they were both born, I felt a love like no other. As infants, I could see the love as I held them close and gazed into their big, trusting eyes. As my girls grew, the love changed and expanded, but is always there, shimmering under the surface.
2. Pride: Oh, how proud I am of my children! I am proud of the way they have overcome obstacles in life. They are extraordinary humans with talents and flaws and scars, and I love them for it.
3. Friendship: This is the great gift I enjoy now that they are older; I truly enjoy being with them. We spend time together and they can make me laugh until I cry. We value humor in my family, because sometimes you have to joke and laugh about life to keep from crying.
So, you see, I have all that I need. Happy Mother’s Day, friends.