What do you get your mother for Mother’s Day?
If you are like me, what it get your for your mother is no easy task. How do you give the woman that gave you life, something wonderful on the day that was invented to show her how much you appreciate her? I have given my mother and mother-in-law so many gifts over the years. I’ve searched high and low for just the right thing. What I realize now is that most of those gifts have gone unused. The first year that I was married, I wanted to make a good impression on my mother-in-law. My husband and I shopped for hours looking for the perfect gift for her. We finally found a very expensive shop that specialized in pearls right from Hawaii. Everything in there was so elegant, and that I knew that we had hit the jackpot.
On Mother’s Day, when she opened the small, delicate box she was taken by surprise. She teared up and thanked us for the most beautiful gift that she’d been given in a very long time. I was triumphant and felt so good about giving such an amazing gift. Fast forward about 20 years. We were going through some of her things and she happened upon the box that held the pearl necklace. It had never been worn. Not once. She told me that she wasn’t sure who had given her that necklace, and although it was generous, she just didn’t really like pearls. They weren’t her “style”. Ouch! She didn’t remember that it was me and she didn’t wear them? Just lay those pearls on the shelf with the stained-glass kit that I got my own mother (that she asked for), and all of the paints and brushes and canvas that was purchased another year. I could name at least a dozen more.
Today I find myself about the same age as my mother-in-law was when I purchased those pearls. I ask myself on every holiday, “what do I really want from my grown children”? Sure, I would enjoy a new watch, or a gift card to Hobby Lobby. But that’s not what I really want. What I really want for Mother’s Day is a little bit of their time. Time is one of the most precious gifts that can be given by someone else. If someone has given you their time in between everything that happens in one day, you have been given something very special. My kids gave me a wonderful gift on my birthday without even realizing it. They came by my office and told me that they were taking me to lunch and that I needed to take an hour lunch for myself. So, I grabbed my purse and headed out to meet my children for lunch.
We had a great time talking about some of the trips we had taken and how much fun they remember having while on family vacations. We pulled up photos and videos showing each other memories of what we had done, as if we hadn’t been together. It was amazing. That hour was the best thing I have received in a very long time. They didn’t have to go searching for something perfect or buy something out of obligation. There was no stained-glass kit or paint, or a strand of pearls. They gave me so much more than that! I went back to work thinking that I was the luckiest mom for what had just happened. My children gave me the gift of their time. The icing on the cake is that I didn’t even take my wallet out to pay for lunch. Oh, and the pearls? They’re mine and I wear the heck out of them!
Happy Mother’s Day!