What I Want for Mothers’ Day

6 05 2011

-A letter to retailers*

The 20-pound newspaper from last Sunday just landed in the recycling bin with a louder thud than I expected. The volume of ads the weekend before Mothers’ Day is second only to the stack in the Thanksgiving weekend paper.  “What mom really wants!” and “She will love you for this!” brought out a cynic-dragon from under my maternal skin.

“What makes you an expert on me, Retail Establishment?” I leered back at the ads loudly clamoring for my attention.  “How do you know I need a solar-powered crystal hummingbird with color-changing LEDs?  Do you think a family birthday bracelet made of authentic imitation gems will make my day perfect?”  (I am not making any of this up!)  A box of pink tools won’t make me feel special, either.  I like tools, and I know how to use them.  “Pink handles with a touch of bling” is just pain insulting.

Can I let you in on a huge non-retail-friendly secret?  Can I tell you what most moms really and honestly want for Mothers’ Day?  You most likely don’t want to know, and you don’t want the word to get out, because it will not be good for your bottom line.  I’m just an ordinary blogger, however, so my small voice in the vast cyber-sea of com- munication probably won’t make the slightest difference at cash registers this weekend.  But this is my blog, and I have something to say on the subject.

What I want for Mothers’ Day

I want to know I’ve made a difference- that the small and large sacrifices I make are worth it and appreciated.  And I appreciate a small sacrifice on this special holiday, something from the heart, something that costs more than cash.   I’d like to be a little spoiled or pampered on Sunday, but extravagance and over-the-topness is hard to take, especially if Mothers’ Day and my birthday are the only days I know you think of me.   A handmade card scrawled with crayon letters made with chubby fingers trumps the flowery Hallmark $8.50 version hands down, and an FTD vase of 24 long-stemmed roses doesn’t compare with a paper cup of smashed dandelions, even when the giver has long-since grown up.

A slow-pace, free from stress and drama, will make my day sweet.  That probably means we won’t be standing in line at noon for a fancy buffet.  Peanut butter and jelly served to me with an ear-to-ear grin while I have my feet up will be lovely, followed by a walk around the block (to work off the fat in the pbj!) with fun conversation and our happy Border Collie, Lizzie.  And we always make new memories with lots of laughter when we watch a slide show or home video, or take a scrapbook trip into the past.

I am an ordinary girl with simple tastes.  Other moms may enjoy adding to your profit margin, but please understand when you don’t see my family in line at a cash register this weekend.  We’ll be enjoying each other and sharing with my husband’s and my mom how special they are to us.

* My family does VERY well in making my Mothers’ Day special.



14 07 2009

“He is NOT going to pull out into BOTH lanes of traffic,” I hoped out loud as I took my foot off the accelerator.  Yep.  He did.

It was all over before my head could take it in.  I had to rewind the video in my mind to make sense of what had just happened.  Pumping wildly, my heart increased the amount of blood to my brain, which helped me remember.

I had been driving downtown for a meeting and decided to take a more direct route instead of the interstate.  Looking at interesting houses and driving through neighborhoods make the trip more enjoyable.  So I was on a four-lane, 45 mph artery driving in the left lane when a sedan pulled out into the right lane causing the SUV ahead of me in that lane to stop.  I slowed, wondering what might happen next, when the sedan’s headlights pulled into my lane right in front of me.

There was oncoming traffic to my left and no time to hit the brakes or lay on the horn.  As the video in my mind played, I let out a hoot!  Just like in the movies, I had deftly steered my way through the obstacle course, tires squealing, at 40 miles per hour– in what now seemed like slow motion!!

My reaction had been automatic—coming from the part of my brain that doesn’t have to think about what to do; it just took over.  Not waiting for explanation or reason, it saw what I needed to do and made it happen before I could have a conscious thought or make a plan.  My survival instinct must have been steering, because I don’t have any experience dodging cars—except for bumper cars at the fair!  🙂

Thinking about what happened last night has made me a little philosophical this morning.  I’m asking myself some questions:

What are my gut reactions, especially in relationships?

Do I default to self-preservation or the other person’s best interest?

Is there a way to modify my default settings from self-interest to others-interest?

What do you think?  I’d really like to know.

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