Friday, May 10, 2013

What I'm Getting For Mother's Day

For my first Mother’s Day in 2007, we went to brunch, something that has since become a tradition, and one that I look forward to every year. I think Chris still tries to “surprise” me with brunch plans, but he needn’t worry; I know what’s up his sleeve, and I won’t be disappointed.

The boys have come to love our brunch tradition, too. If we are not out of town, we usually attend the brunch buffet at a local golf course, and both kids will quickly note that it’s got a chocolate fountain. In fact, that fountain was the first thing W inquired about when he found out we had brunch plans this Sunday: “Is it the one with the chocolate fountain?”

S-Man after his chocolate fountain dessert in 2011

Yes, I’m looking forward to our reservation, and no, I won’t be dressing anyone in white this year.

Over the course of our marriage, Chris and I have agreed that we don’t want much from each other in terms of gifts. But one of my most memorable and favorite Mother’s Day gifts is a mother’s necklace. I received it in 2007 when W was a baby, and it had 2 stones – one each symbolizing our new baby and me. In 2010, the spring after S-Man was born, I noticed that my necklace had disappeared from our closet, but kept my suspicions to myself – and was beyond pleased when I got it back for Mother’s Day, this time with two more stones added – these for our new son, and my husband.

I cherish my necklace, but mostly, though, I just want brunch. And my scrapbook.

At the end of 2011, I asked my husband for an empty scrapbook from the kids for Christmas; one with blank pages for them to fill, not me. They each can fill in a page for  holidays they deem worthy, either major or minor (Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, my birthday) and hopefully they won’t feel the need to purchase anything as a gift, because I don’t want one (other than any other projects they plan and make themselves).

It’s perfect. It captures a bit of who they are in the moment they drew their pages. Even as I’ve looked back through the pages with W, he’ll note that he spelled words wrong in the past, or even that some of his drawings, “aren’t very good.” I assure him that they are perfect, and it shows just how much he’s learned and grown in such a short time. And that’s exactly what I want to capture with my scrapbook.

I love the concept so much, I bought a “Daddy scrapbook” for Chris, as well.

I can’t take credit for the idea. I read about it in a story published in the May 2011 issue of Real Simple magazine. I’m not sure if this is an idea I would have ordinarily picked up with so much passion, or if it was simply the timing. Only a few months before I read this article, my Crohn’s disease had placed me in the hospital so swiftly and forcefully that I had no choice but to acknowledge my mortality (a story I have yet to share here). Because of this, I craved my children, the moments with them, and simplicity more. This project fit the bill nicely, and still does.

This weekend, my parents are visiting, and so I’m fortunate that I’ll also get to celebrate my own mother, as well. She’s not only the woman who raised me, but is also the one who has dropped everything to help out when I’ve been in the hospital, the one who’s hug I still sometimes need, and the person who can still tell, over the phone, if I’m getting enough rest or not. Thanks, Mom.

So many things in life are dependent upon how you’ve set your expectations, and Mother’s Day (heck, motherhood) is one of them. I don’t expect to have a “spa” day, nor do I want one. Last night, W mentioned his concern about going to a friend’s birthday party on Sunday afternoon, because, as he said, “I want to make sure I spend time with you for Mother’s Day.” He’s right. I’m a mom because of him and his brother, and this day isn’t just about me.

Yes, I would love to be pampered and have a day “off.” But I also don’t want to be a Momzilla who puts so much emphasis on what I want for the day that I make my children feel like spending time with them would be inconvenient or make me unhappy. So, for Mother’s Day, I’ll have brunch with my family; I’ll ooh and ahh over my scrapbook; and I’ll take the day off from laundry and hopefully have a nap. But if I truly want to be pampered, I can make it a priority to schedule that – a massage, girl-time, or something along those lines – any other day of the year. This Sunday, I know what I’ll be getting – and that’s all I need.

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