Mother’s Day can be tough in our home, I understand that. My daughter came down with an Italian assignment pushing toward this day almost in tears:
“I have to answer a question and I don’t know what to do,” was my hysterical daughter’s rant!
“What is the question?”
“What do you give your Mom on her birthday?”
I looked at her and thought for a second and replied “flowers.”
She looked at me a bit confused. “Flowers?”
“We never stopped honoring that day, did we? I take flowers to her grave from all of us every year on her birthday. You give her flowers. And we have a cake. You give her flowers and cake.”
It got me thinking. This day comes with all the predisposed greeting card sentiment and commercials meant to tug on your heartstrings. Kids are pushed to make Mother’s Day cards in school and nobody thinks about the fact there might be a kid or two who aren’t able to make those.
But for us it doesn’t have to be hard.
Mother’s Day isn’t necessarily about the presence of their Mom. It’s about what your Mom means to you. That’s a big deal. This woman gave you life . . . if she did nothing else, that’s immense! But for us . . . her physical presence may be gone but the foundation she laid, the best parts, remain.
When my middle daughter needed to look nice for a special event, I could never have helped her get her makeup and mascara. Fortunately, though, my oldest daughter had gotten those lessons from her Mom. When it came time to finish up her older sister knelt her on the floor and completed the process, teaching her along the way.
When that same daughter needed clothes for a funeral so many people thought I would have to call in the cavalry. Instead, Andrea had taught me, through an inordinate amount of time spent in changing rooms, what would look good and what wouldn’t; well, at least for basics. When I spoke with authority about what she should wear, my daughter looked in the mirror and smiled. It wasn’t me giving that advice; it was her mother, albeit through me.
We so often think about cards and gifts and all the trimmings, but what gifts do most Moms appreciate the most? I’d bet if you asked them the homemade ones or the cards that say how amazing they are mean the most. That’s the foundation, not the presence.
No, this day is as much about the kids and what they can show you about yourself as it is about the Moms. That’s not a slam on being a Mom, that’s the greatest possible compliment. My kids are a success because of the time they got with their Mom, not because of what they’ve missed.
So as my daughter walks away, I ask her, “Are you saying you give Mom flowers or cake?”
“Flowers,” my daughter says. She starts to laugh, nervously, just like her mother did, and says “I don’t know how to say cake in Italian yet.” As she turns and walks up the stairs I can almost see her mother’s eyes twinkling behind her.
What about you? Do you see the impact you’ve had on your kids? Do you take stock? Celebrate the day, Moms of the world, you certainly deserve it! Happy Mother’s Day!