I had a great Mother’s Day this year. Granted, it wasn’t one that I’ll be remembering for years to come, but it had its moments. I think Mother’s Days are bittersweet because the gifts change as the children age, and with each gift I’m reminded that they are growing up.
My best Mother’s Day was about three years ago when my youngest son, who was nine at the time, created some artwork at school for me. The teacher had started a sentence and he was to fill in the blank. It went something like: “My mother is so smart ...” and he added, “she knows my favorite food.” The highlight was his answer to “My mother is as pretty as ...” and the answer was “a horse.” I laughed hysterically when he presented it. He stood strong in his statement and protested, “but horses are pretty.”
The next day, I saw a horse in a field and realized they are not just pretty, they are beautiful -- strong, majestic, serene. Now whenever I see a horse, I smile and take great pride that I am as pretty as that horse. That Mother’s Day will live forever in my memory bank.
This year, now that three out of the four children are teenagers, I received more grown-up gifts: a cool spatula, some orange oil for cooking and baking, and a multi-colored rubber whisk. I winced at the idea that the handmade, adorable, heartfelt, cheesy gifts were a thing of the past.
Then I remembered that a couple of days earlier, my nearly 15-year-old son, who is taller than I am, gave me a paper mache of his hand painted black and slapped repeatedly with a brush covered in yellow paint – his hand in Steeler colors. He said, “Here’s your Mother’s Day present,” in his deep, couldn't-care-less tone. I could tell by the way he watched my reaction that he cared. He was proud -- not as proud as last year when he wrote a poem, framed it, and read it to everyone who walked in the door.
Times are changing and the kids are growing up. Pretty soon I'll have to settle for flowers from the florist and nice dinners out, but, hopefully, there's at least one more painted rock or flower torn from my flower bed headed my way next year.
Deb Walter resides in Bushkill Township with her husband, four children, a badly behaved cockapoo, and baskets of unmatched socks. She teaches writing and speaking at area colleges and is the founder of Priority Bracelet: a life planner for your wrist.