Three years ago, I wrote this column on what I wanted for Mother’s Day. It still holds true. I’m looking forward to a day of peace and quiet. No emergency plane trips to visit my father in the hospital (Did that last year; it wasn’t fun). No people screaming at each other or fighting or whining (Did that pretty much every year.)
Fingers crossed, you and yours will get what they truly want: Some appreciation and a day to do whatever Mom wants.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Greatest gifts to give can’t be bought
This Mother’s Day, after breakfast in bed, give Mom something she really wants
My family’s Mother’s Day traditions have always been pretty low-key. Some years, maybe too low-key.The first year, my husband didn’t realize that he needed to do anything for the woman who had gone through 14 hours of induced labor to birth his son. He soon learned the error of his ways.
So now, in our family, we have a general agreement: Mom gets to sleep in. Mom gets breakfast in bed. Mom is happy to drive down to San Antonio to share the day with Grandma, but the two of us expect to be fed (and we’re not talking McDonald’s). Mom doesn’t need any big gifts, just something nice the kids made, but Mom will not be cooking or cleaning at any point in the day. Don’t even think about whining, kids. And, dear, sweet family, if you can, look cheery about helping a mother out for this one day.
So, on the eve of this holiday that has become so commercial, why wouldn’t I, the mother of an 8-year-old and an 11-year-old, want a big gift?
First, my family members are not great givers of material things on designated days. I’ll never forget the birthday when I got Lucky Charms and Twizzlers from a convenience store.
Second, what I really want from my family isn’t material:
I want peace in our universe. Could you please stop fighting over things like TV time, computer time, who breathed on whom, who touched whom, who is annoying by merely existing?
Give me the gift of open conversation. Know that my door is always open no matter how busy I am. Know that there is nothing that you cannot tell me. A grunt or a shrug doesn’t really count as talking.
Be the best you can be. You don’t have to win a Nobel Prize or an Olympic gold medal, but you do need to find something you love and do it.
Do not embarrass me or yourselves. I hope I have done my job and raised you to be moral people with common sense. Please don’t do anything stupid that ends in a phone call from jail.
Grow up to not need me. Honor me best by becoming self-sufficient, honorable members of society with jobs you love and eventually families you love.
Want to be with me. I want our time together to be meaningful and enjoyable now, and, in the future, I don’t want you to only visit me because you feel obligated. And, when the time is right, please, put me in a nice facility and don’t feel guilty because you can no longer care for me at home.
Most importantly, love me. Know that I will always love you, and that’s not just a song. Please appreciate the choices I have made with your father to give you the best start in life we could give you. Know that we are human and surely disappointed you, but we really, really tried. When you become parents, you’ll understand that we did our best.