One of the things I am most thankful for about becoming a mother is that it has helped me appreciate my own mother all over again. You see, growing up, we always butted heads. There was the typical stuff—her being super strict and me thinking she was so old-fashioned. Of course, there was the typical teenage stuff. No, you can’t go out! Get off the phone! Clean up your mess! And then she would irk me by her telling me I was not allowed to do certain things because I was a girl, but it was okay if my brother did them because he was a boy.
So, I spent a lot of time being upset with her, or strongly disagreeing with her. In other words, not fully appreciating who she was. It was only in becoming a mother that I learned to appreciate the things she did, and I understood why she said no, at least most of the time. She was trying to protect me. I don’t hold those things against her anymore, for I know it came from a place of unconditional love.
Furthermore, I had an epiphany when I was pregnant: I realized that my parents wouldn’t be around forever. As I was creating a life, I became acutely aware of their mortality. I sobbed and sobbed at the thought. Then I vowed to celebrate both my child and my parents every single day. Motherhood has made me a better daughter, or at least a more appreciative one. My mom does so much for me and for my family that I make a point of letting her know daily how much I appreciate her. I know I’m unusually lucky because I see my mom often and I try to celebrate her as much as I can.
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Sometimes I get her flowers as a way to say thank you. Other times, I will see something that I know she loves and I buy it for her, just because. It doesn’t have to be big. It could be her favorite cookies! After all, she did spend most of her life making it all special for me, and now for my son too. But even though I appreciate her daily, I also make an effort to celebrate Mom with even more fanfare on Mother´s Day, just because I know she likes it!
MOTHER’S DAY… IT’S IN THE DETAILS
The first thing I do to prepare for Mother’s Day is get a card. I’m the type of person that can spend hours at Hallmark looking for the perfect card. The card that says exactly what you have always wanted to say, but never get around to saying. I look at the English section and the Spanish section. In whatever language, I always manage to find something perfect.
I also try to get something that my mom will not buy for herself. Sometimes it’s a brand-name item that she feels is too expensive. If it really is too expensive, I usually call my brother and ask if he wants in, and he usually complies! Other times, it’s a fun activity we can enjoy together, like tickets to a Broadway show—which she would never get for herself. I have found that a gift card to one of her favorite stores is a two-fold gift: she has the experience of going to the store and picking it out, and gets something she really loves.
The most important thing for Mother’s Day in my house is eating out. Moms shouldn’t be cooking! They should be pampered! Especially my mom, who isn’t a fan of la cocina! Mani-pedis, massages, facials… Whatever makes her feel beautiful inside and out.
Now that my mother is a grandmother, I realize that anything with her grandson’s photo, or is grandson-related, will make a good gift. The first year I gave her his handprints in a frame. Anything with a photo in it is a good bet: calendars, collage mugs, photo books. Other gift ideas I am pondering for this year are restaurant gift certificates and cleaning service hours.
Well, that’s my story! What gifts are you thinking of giving to Mom, and how do you celebrate your mother every day?