Hey – can I mention how excited I am to post here and be a “she” for a day… that’s like “Queen for a Day,” only with less bling!!! I’m a blogger-in-training (been doing it for 2 years, just don’t feel “pro” yet) who has 5 kids (thus plenty to blog about), works a full time job (well, for the next 2 weeks at least), scrapbooks until the wee hours of the morning (as soon as the next 2 weeks are over), loves to decorate cakes (drop by and you can currently see a few examples since Birthday Season just finished at our house), and somewhere in there I read… a lot. So drop by my blog anytime – but not my house… because with all of that going on, you need to give me an hour or two notice! Since I get to tell you about myself – let’s just go with stunningly gorgeous, mega-talented, and witty to boot. Hey – you want the truth, ask my kids… when I get to do my own introductions I get to say whatever I want!
Me and the girls… sorry boys – I didn’t look as good in that picture
So… turns out it’s THAT time of year again. Time for the poem “My Little Hands” to be mass produced on place mats with poster-paint hand prints encased forever in lamination. Actually, I love these – I think I now have one for each of my 5 lovely children and I will save them forever… but I don’t necessarily want MORE of them!
I also love my macaroni necklaces, flower carts made out of laundry detergent scoops, and craft foam refrigerator magnets… really, it’s all very sweet. I will never EVER throw away the card where my then 5 year old (now 15) told me that I was “the best Mom I’ll ever have”.
As my children age, I get fewer and fewer hand prints in a plaster filled pie tin – and as it turns out, I just get fewer gifts (because High School teachers somehow can’t fit tissue paper flowers into their curriculum.)
So, what do I get? Well, I love breakfast in bed, sort of…I love the thought. (Sometimes, I get bored sitting in bed while I can smell the food cooking and hear my children arguing about who gets to stir the O.J. And, unless I have a good book, I want to be up-and-about, instead of waiting in bed pretending to wake up just as the kids enter my room.) But, I LOVE the food… ManOfTheHouse is really quite a good cook and has whipped up some fancy veggie omelets and strawberry filled crepes over the years! I even love sharing it with my little ones as they want to sit with me and snack. It’s always a chore making sure there is no spillage, but that’s preferable to the years where they deliver the meal and then leave me alone to eat… boring.
Gifting for my mother or mother-in-law is even more difficult. I’m pretty sure neither needs us breaking into their homes to cook breakfast in bed… and somehow since my hands no longer fit in the pie tin I think that just won’t be as cute… So what to do????
*We’ve tried family pictures… I think they were even appreciated quite a lot the ONE year we managed to actually accomplish the task within the month of May.
*We’ve tried books… and then gift certificates after we managed to duplicate books two years in a row, somehow it just doesn’t seem personal enough. Notice there is no slogan reading “When you care enough to let them pick out their own gift” If you take this route just be sure to get a specific gift certificate… like for a nice pedicure??? (and in case M.O.T.H. is reading this there is a HUGE hint there….)
*Going out for a meal… always nice – and I actually have no snarky comments to go along with this one. Eat well and enjoy!
But, now that I have rambled on for MUCH longer than was intended, I will tell you about the BEST GIFT EVER! this is one that I’ve never gotten before this year but I have talked ManOfTheHouse into…
Since gifts for my Mother in Law were sometimes difficult and because we all wanted to do SOMETHING (and partly because money is sometimes tight), my Mother in Law provided a solution. Every year the family finds a day to get together at the homestead for a “work day.” Mom creates a list of jobs and everyone goes to work, simple as that. I remember one year I spent a few hours scrubbing window screens before finishing out in the gardens where I tried to decipher weeds from baby plants. (hmmmm… I was never assigned that task again… maybe I didn’t do such a great job?) Another year, I remember we painted the porch and its wooden trellis. The next year we ripped down that wooden trellis and replaced it with a plastic one that was already the right color. One year the parents weren’t even in the country but there was quite a turnout to remove and replace the in-ground trampoline… basically we do whatever tasks need to be done – big or small – and try to make Mom’s life easier.
It may have been Mom’s idea in the first place, but we are happy to continue the tradition. It is such a nice feeling to look around and see all of those children/grandchildren hard at work. With ten children, their spouses, and more grandchildren than I care to count (between 30 and 50, somewhere…) it is sometimes a circus. I’ll be honest, sometimes we don’t make it on the assigned day (so, we send a hand-print place mat)… but it is a wonderful gift, a simple, service-oriented way to say:
“Dear Mom, Happy Mother’s Day! We love you enough to work up a sweat and hope your life is easier for it. We’re thrilled that you raised us to be able to work side by side without wanting to throttle one another. Oh, and thanks for watching the little ones while we weeded the ditch!”
So… do tell, what is YOUR story – what’s your best (or worst) Mother’s Day gift ever… and what do you wish you could get???
(I’ll be checking in… because I think I’ve dropped enough hints that I should be heading out for a pedicure while the kids have a “work day” here at my house!!!!)
-T (is for Tonya)
(be sure the drop by in June to see what I’ll have to do to repay the favor for M.O.T.H.)