Advertisements for fancy diamonds and red bows on cars that appear around Mother’s Day make me laugh. If your experience is anything like mine, most of the time, the day is about macaroni cards and bad food—if you’re lucky. One year, my sister asked for toiletries and her young son tied miniature toilets to a tree branch.
My own mother tells the story of the breakfast in bed I made for her many, many years ago. I wanted to make French toast, and well, to my seven year old self, that recipe was a mystery. Still, wanting to pamper mom, I toasted two pieces of bread, poured syrup on them and lacking any real juice, substituted with orange soda. My mother ate every bite with a smile on her face.
It almost seems cruel that on the day that is designed to be a tribute to parenting, we are sometimes put through these types of trials. But in a way, it’s poetic. As moms, we realize that we don’t do it for the glamorous gifts (snicker) and nothing can adequately convey what parenting means to us or even what we feel for our own mothers, especially if they are no longer with us.
Parenting can be a thankless job and obviously we don’t do it for the accolades. We don’t get sick days; we have work through the flu and worse. Vacations aren’t the carefree adventures of yesteryear; they’re just the same work in a different, but hopefully nicer setting. So come this Sunday, I could practice a surprise look for the brand new Alfa Romeo of my dreams, but realistically, I am going to be touched whatever my daughter (with help from my husband) come up with (probably the night before) and know that it’s a gesture and not reflective of the entirety of my mothering career. Being a parent is a gift, and if we do it right, it’s a gift in itself.
But I wouldn’t say no to a bunch of chocolate covered strawberries.