Sunday is Mother’s Day. I know this because I have been to the mall three times in the past few weeks (through no fault of my own). You can’t walk past a single shiny window without being bombarded with the certain way to make your mother happy come this Sunday morning — BUY THIS. Mom needs that. IF YOU LOVE HER, YOU WILL SPEND A LOT OF MONEY ON HER.
I wanted to let you know you are absolved from having to purchase me some or other fancy gift to commemorate this day. You are young now, but I don’t want you growing up thinking a day like Mother’s Day is all about the bling, the shine, the bows, or the boxes. It’s not.
A new Coach bag is not the thing that proves your love for me. I don’t need or want diamonds or a tote filled with nine scented candles. A spa day away is lovely, to be sure, but don’t believe for one moment that I deserve that for mothering you.
I won’t speak for all mothers, but I will speak for me. Raising you two is my honor, my joy, my sacred duty, my gift to the world. If I do it right, you will grow into kind, compassionate, empathic, loving, productive citizens. If I do it wrong, and know that I will make many, many mistakes along the way, well, I am sorry. When you’re all grown up and shaving, I hope I can say I did my best.
Mothers don’t need stuff or things from their children to understand they are loved. I see it almost every day from you two. When you fight with one another for space on my lap while sitting on the kitchen floor. Swoon. When you follow me around my Dad’s wake with a box of Kleenex, just in case I start crying again. Sigh. When you grab me by the scruff with your not yet gentle toddler ways to pull me in for a kiss. Ouch, followed by Melt.
I know you love me. Giving me something that a shiny store window tells you I need doesn’t ever mean that you love me more or better. Never get things confused with feelings. Believe me when I say it is enough to be loved by you.
And this is not me being a mommy martyr. It’s a lesson I am trying to teach you both that things, fancy and expensive things, are never to be confused as compensation for caring for you. I am all for gifts and symbols of your love and affection for me, but those gifts and symbols need not have dollar signs around them, your love and appreciation measured like a litmus test by how fancy the packaging is or how much your Dad shelled out.
This year and every year, if you want to treat Mother’s Day as a special day for me or an opportunity for you to show your appreciation, I will welcome your efforts with open arms. Please, in fact, do! Everybody loves days set aside where they get to feel special and loved. Like birthdays or holidays are for you. I am no different. I would love a special day where I feel your love and appreciation in extra measures. There are so many meaningful ways to show your feelings that don’t involve money. Think about that.
Alright, kiddos. That’s my lesson for the day. I love you. I know you love me, too. How lucky are we?