Making Memories for Mom
I’ll let you in on a secret: Mother’s Day is not my favorite holiday. There’s something about forced recognition that, well, just isn’t cool. I don’t desire matching jewelry sets embellished with symbols recognizing my children’s birthdates. I don’t like overpriced flowers. And, I don’t particularly enjoy breakfast in bed; I always worry about the crumbs and the looming mess in the kitchen.
Now with my cynicism out of the way, I’ll tell you what I do enjoy about Mother’s Day: the joy in my girls’ hearts as they figure out what they want to do for me. The shy pride they display as they give me the gift they made in school. Them asking me what I want to do and interrupting each other with answers, vying for the Title of I Know Mom the Best. “Let’s go to the beach.” “No, let’s go on a hike.” “No, let’s get a facial.” “How about Disneyland?”
Whatever the day holds will be special and I will enjoy it. Even so, Mother’s Day memories don’t happen on Mother’s Day. They happen out of the blue on regular Mondays and Tuesdays. When I pick one of them up from a playdate and the other mother says, “She was wonderful: such great manners! I don’t say this to most people, but she’s welcome any time.” Or, after a very hectic month that included a visit from grandma, trips to Disneyland, spring break, going to Catalina, and a six-day business trip, I am able to meet them at the bus stop and prepare their favorite mac and cheese afterschool snack. When they settle down for a moment and are content. Or we’re not rushed and I relax about doing homework and cleaning their rooms and they don’t jump up wanting to thumbs up the latest Selena Gomez song. For a minute, it’s like when they were little, just two girls and their mom at the kitchen table, laughing and giggling while trying to find the perfect bunny-shaped pasta before he is gobbled down with a satisfied slurp.
My favorite mom moments happen late at night when I hear a door open, little feet come down the hall and a sleepy girl shows up at the big bed saying she had a bad dream or heard a noise or the cat walked on her. I ask if she wants to get in bed with me, and the answer is a sleepy, “Yes, mama.” Then that soft, warm little body snuggles up next to me. And no matter how tired I am, the love is overwhelming and I smell the top of her head and scratch her back “the way she likes it” and we fall asleep together. No card or gift or official mother’s day can ever replicate that.
Still figuring out a meaningful gift? Here’s one we did for Father’s Day that was fun and easy and a big hit. Find a cute picture of the family, or children, or mom and kids and have it printed as a 5 x 7. Purchase an 8 x 10 frame with a white mat at least two inches wide. Set aside some time when mom isn’t home and have the kids decorate the mat. Markers or colored pencils work best. For Father’s Day, the girls drew basketballs, donuts, and a Jeep.
And what gift do I want? No robe, please. Besides the obvious diamonds and spa gift certificates, two sure-fire winners, how about tickets to something I want to see? The Green Day musical. “American Idiot” is coming to the Segerstrom Center for the Arts May 29 to June 3 and I am dying to see it. Or, how about renting a Duffy in Newport Harbor for a cruise with or without the kids? What if we head down to the beach on Mother’s Day and you pack the beach bag, make the sandwiches and don’t forget the sunscreen? Now that’s a gift any mother would love.
**Give Away Alert: For a lucky :Get Out of the House” reader, the lovely Laguna mothers who run Icky Baby have generously donated a Mother’s Day gift bag that any mom will find useful as well as adorable. The gift includes a dozen compostable bibs, a laminated splat mat, art smock, diaper cover, tee set and lunch tote. Check out their wares at www.Icky.com. Email me your full name and contact information by Wednesday at 5 p.m. All names will go in a hat (or Mother’s Day bonnet) and one winner will be selected at random.
Rebecca Meekma is that friend who always knows something fun to do, and the Calendar Editor at Parenting OC magazine. Reach her at email@example.com.