Maybe it’s just me, but it seems to get harder and harder to come up with good Mother’s Day gift ideas as we get older.
I mean, isn’t it just like Life to get us to a point of true appreciation at the same time our mothers arrive at the point of “I don’t need anything. It’ll just be that much more for you to clean out when I’m gone”?
My mom’s not morbid or obsessed with death by any means. But she’s watched my brother and I clean out my dad’s house, his parents’ house and she’s cleaned our her parents’ house… It’s enough to cure even the worst of hoarders. She’s not a hoarder either, for the record. In fact, I have possession of my baby book because she was cleaning out…
But I digress.
Gift ideas. Right.
When we (I’m including all other adult children fortunate enough to still have their mothers around) were kids, Mother’s Day gifts could be as obscure as macaroni art and earn a place of honor on the mantel, refrigerator or night stand. I’m 42 years old. I don’t have elbow macaroni in my pantry. What I’ve got is whole wheat penne pasta. Something makes me think those two mediums are not the same.
And, let’s be honest, as far as framed items are concerned, our mothers already have rather full halls of fame filled with our goofy mugs. Ask her to replace that old picture of you with braces and a bad perm and she’ll scoff at the thought. No. New pictures are added to the wall until the wall needs to be added to. So that eliminates framed cross stitch, portraits and macaroni art.
Remember when our handprints were cute? Add a handprint to any drawing and it was an instant gift, a precious memory of how tiny and sweet we were. Somewhere along the way our handprints stopped being cute. They were not appreciated as art when discovered on the windows, the door frame of your bedroom or the ivory piano keys. They shifted from being cherished memories to a grungy chore.
Maybe if the handprints we left on the wall were pink instead of a dark, dingy charcoal-looking grey.
When moms collect something, it’s a great gift idea. Until it isn’t. For years Mom collected Noah’s ark stuff. It started with a small pewter set, but when we’d found all the animal pairs they made we expanded to blankets, charms and children’s toys. She finally had to tell us she had enough Noah’s ark stuff. Let that be a lesson to us all: there CAN be too much of a good thing.
Flowers tend to be a safe bet for moms of all ages… except our mom. She spent a period of time working for a grocery store distribution center, in the produce department. Apparently flowers are produce because she told us in no uncertain terms that she didn’t want to see flowers on Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day for the rest of her life. (There was one year she made an exception and let me cut some flowers out of Neenie’s garden to take to Neenie in the nursing home for Mother’s Day. That was an exception and didn’t involve a distribution center.)
CD’s? Sometimes, but she’d usually rather talk than listen to music. DVD’s? She tends to fall asleep approximately 7 minutes into any movie that doesn’t involve extreme suspense… and even then sometimes. Appliances? She’s got what she needs and buys what she wants. Jewelry? There was a charm bracelet. It was quickly approaching the same gift quarantine status as the Noah’s ark collection.
She’s not high maintenance. Far from it. “Just a phone call or a card is fine.” But we talk on the phone anyway and fun, custom cards are her department. Besides, my brother and I have this contest about who gives the best gifts. He gave her grandkids, so I’ve got some ground to make up.
So, Mom, it’s not as cute as it would be if I was 4 years old, and I’m not about to try to mail it to you, but here’s the finished product. It’s the thought that counts, right?