My Favorite Gift

I miss my mother. I tell her every year. It’s fruitless. She doesn’t respond. She’s been gone for so long now. I know she can’t hear me but I pretend she can. I hope she can. I want to believe she can. Alas…I wish she could. 

 

Last year I wrote a blog about her and it just made me cry. So this year I decided to channel that energy forward…turn my attention to my daughter, after all it’s Mother’s Day and I get to do what I want.

 

So, daughter. It’s like this:

 

You don’t have to give me a gift. Although if you want to, that’s fine. You know what I like. 

 

You don’t have to send me flowers. I like flowers. But flowers never were the way into my heart. Yes, they smell pretty, but I’d rather go into your room and spend some time with the scent you left behind when you went to school. It’s on your pillow, it’s on the dresses hanging in your closet, it’s in the air. Better than lily-of-the-valley any day. 

 

If you call (and I know you will), make it FaceTime. I want to see you and hear your voice telling me you’re feeling fine, that life is good, the boys are cute, you’re going to parties, making friends, ready to come home for the summer. :)  What could make a mother happier than that? 

 

You don’t have to buy me a card. But if you do you know I favor the ones you make yourself. The note you wrote me last year is still taped to my bathroom mirror. I revel in it every morning when I brush my teeth and again at night. And a few times in between. I love what you said and that you took the time to say it instead of relying on pre-feb content by Hallmark.  And I love that you wrote it with a Sharpie on "arts & cracks" paper (that’s what you used to call it)— leftover from an assortment of candy-studded stationary I bought you when you were 8. 

 

Or you can make me an artful offering like you’ve been doing all your life. They started with pictures from pre-school…the ones in which arms and legs were jutting straight out from round bellies. Then came the painted boxes in kindergarten with personal family trinkets Elmers-glued to the inside. Or more lately, the texts of your paintings from art class…texts that made my jaw drop. Especially the self portrait which, to my eyes, looks more like you than you do. How is that possible? I don’t know. It doesn’t make sense. But I swear it’s true... 

self portrait smaller.JPG

Or the one of the fruit of which I always profess—the apple is as real as a photograph...

Or those hands that tell me how strong you really are....

Or the bowls. 

Where did this girl some from? I do not have any of that visual DNA. I’m so proud that you followed your own footsteps instead of mine. 

And so...I will enjoy the flowers if you send them, a gift certificate for a massage, a bottle of Joe Malone. But the best gifts are truly the ones that don’t come from the mall. Or cost money. Or arrive on a holiday.  Or come wrapped in tissue paper or bows or ribbon. My favorite Mother’s Day gift is something you can’t give me. Because I already have it. The best gift is the one I gave myself...with a little help from Daddy: you. 

Happy Mother's Day, ladies. I know you feel the same. :)