Join me for Aloha Friday on Island Life. It's a chance to get to know each other through one question. Here is the question for this week:
What do you think is the perfect Mother’s Day gift?
I have to be completely honest here. I REALLY dislike Mother's Day and Father's Day. I think it puts a lot of pressure on families to buy something or to spend money when they really don't need to. I know my kids love me. I also know that all of the hand made gifts I'm getting right now were prompted by their teachers, therefore not actually coming from my children.
Here's the thing: I don't NEED anything from my children or my husband to know that I'm appreciated. I see it in their eyes when I praise them for a job well done. I even see it in their sighs when they are frustrated I am asking them to do another chore. My "pay" for being a great mom will come in form of my two girls growing up to be the best children they can be. When I see the successful life they have built for themselves, I will know I've done my job. Until then, I just enjoy them being kids and having fun. I don't need gifts for that. I should be thanking them for bringing happiness to me.
What is my perfect Mother's Day gift? What I would consider "perfect" is not a real possibility. I would love for my kids to not fight for the day. In my fantasy, I would ask them to do something and there would be no eye rolling or stomping of feet. They wouldn't get angry and run off to slam the door (that door is seriously coming off the hinges REALLY soon!) because that's the only form of protest they have at this age.
WHY do I say this is impossible? Because I was a 10-year-old girl once, and I had an 8-year-old sibling. We would wake up on Mother's Day and say we were going to be the best kids ever. Then it would be breakfast time and Mom would ask me to get a butter knife out of the drawer. "Why can't Fred do it?" See, the sighs are already starting. Later, Fred would want his turn on the video game, and I would want to continue with mine. The fighting has begun. Even later a friend would call to see if we could play, and Dad would say no because we were spending the day with Mom. Cue door slamming and feet stomping. Throw in a little screaming, even.
See, kids are kids. They may have the best of intentions, but their feelings and resulting actions are genuine. They tell it like it is. We love you, Mom, but we are still interested in doing the things WE want to do. They haven't yet learned the art of hiding those feelings, and they haven't developed the true appreciation for their moms that we have as adults. I hate to sound cynical, but this really is the cycle of life.
What am I really getting for Mother's Day? I asked Daniel to take me out to Target to pick out some new sheets for our bed. The ones we have are literally falling apart. My big toe got stuck in the hole the other day, so I decided this is what I wanted for Mother's Day. We have a crazy gift tradition. Rather than surprising each other on holidays, we pick out something for the house and buy that. One year for our anniversary we got the water cooler we'd always talked about. Another year on my birthday I came home from school and there was brand new tile in the bathroom. I love the pattern we've fallen into. It takes the stress out of finding the perfect gift, and we slowly get through home improvement projects.
So, I'm off to do some pre-shopping at Target.com. I have to decide if I want to go with plain sheets with no pattern so they can be used all year or if I want to bring some summer fun into my bedroom. Who knows what I'll pick out. If I find a good clearance price I might end up with some more snowmen left over from Christmas!