Mother’s Day is around the corner and I have a confession.
I am the worst--more boring--mama when it comes to creating a gift list for my boys. It’s not that I don’t have a running list of luxurious little wants in the back of my mind. I love bouquets of fluffy peonies as much as you. And pedicures, back massages, gift certificates to my favorite boutique, the latest best-selling novel…all these are certain to make me smile.
But truthfully, as I get older I see all those as things I can easily buy myself, so it begs the question. Hmmm…what is really precious to me these days?
What can’t be so easily purchased?
For me the answer has always been Time.
When the boys were younger, on Mother’s Day I would have them join me in my garden where they, alongside their Dad, would sweat under the blue sky, lugging heavy bags of bark and working next to me in the dirt planting rainbow colored flowers. Afterwards, we would shower and head to a nice restaurant, their favorite part of the “giving.” Did they grumble? Of course. And needless to say, they preferred Father’s Day much more because it was completely devoid of work. But the gardening was always followed by a hearty meal and long, lingering conversations.
And looking back, I think this ‘gardening’ gift to me reinforced the idea that real generosity is giving freely, not only when it feels good to you.
Today I thought I’d share one of my favorite Mother’s Day gifts because it’s an idea you might want to use too.
I originally read about it from THIS friend and when I mentioned the concept to my husband, he kindly adapted it for my Mother’s Day last year.
At first glance it simply looks like a list of 17 chosen questions for your child to answer. But I view these scribbled thoughts differently; I see these as a window into my child’s mind, a chance to step back and see them as separate, distinct people from us.
In the end, I think this is real love. To see them for who they are. To value them no matter. To be fascinated at their complexity. And to remain incredibly interested at whom they are becoming. How they see the world in which they live.
And yes, even us.
Are you curious to hear what your child thinks makes you happy? Sad?
. Here are the questions Jim gave to our boys and had them answer in private, separate from each other. Feel free to borrow and adapt for your own kids. Remember, Patrick was 20 and Michael was 18 when they answered these.
Granted, it’s a “slice of life” picture. And while it looks pretty lovely-dovey, you can see I’ve been accused of nagging (#13), and also those Huffington Post references happened because HP had recently linked to a post of mine.
But this snapshot of what’s happening in the moment is meaningful to me. I find these brief, idiosyncratic answers to be the real gems that I will savor long after my flowers wilt and my chocolate truffles are eaten. They are gifts of the heart, my favorite kind.
Oh, and one more thing.
When it comes to Mother’s Day I’ve learned that there will be good years and tougher ones depending on what’s happening with our kids. But keeping our expectations in check really makes a difference. Whatever is happening with your family, I hope you feel appreciated and special.
And that you remember, it’s never too late to begin anew. To say “I was wrong.”
or “Hey, I may be flawed, but boy I love you.”
Or to simply be patient. And know that “this too shall pass.”
Mothering is not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure.
what is your favorite Mother’s Day gift?
..I’m linking up this post here: