Saturday, May 12, 2007
Mother's Day Tips for All Children of Any Age
Tomorrow's Mother's Day, and...oops, I guess I'M the mother. I still can't get past the kid stage, the "uh oh, I better get a homemade card sent in time to arrive on Saturday, and send flowers!" identity. But now, alas, my mother's gone, and my mother-in-law, too. If you keep reading, I'll give you this mother's tips for making any of my ilk happy.
But now I will divulge what my husband just said, disdainfully: "Tomorrow is Mother's Day. I bet you're expecting us to write all sorts of poems." Me: "You know I don't care about Mother's Day." Him: "But you'd be disappointed if we didn't write you all sorts of poems."
Me: "No. Have I even mentioned Mother's Day?" Him (making disgusted face): "No, but you want poems."
The culture has prevailed. I admit, when my birthday approaches, and my family asks what I want as a gift, I always answer, "Don't buy me anything. Just make me a card." They know I always write THEM poems. They know that on the occasions they DO write me poems, I always go wild with appreciation. Now, they dread even a downplayed Mother's Day because they're afraid that it means...dum-dum-DUM...writing a poem for me.
Hey guys. Mom to family: No poem required. Especially now that I know how sincere it is. No plant, no flowers required. Remember, my hubby---you bring me flowers EVERY day! Yes, world, my husband actually DOES bring me flowers every day. Flowers he picks out himself, at the supermarket, on his way home. Every day. Believe it.
I can HEAR you! You're saying "No, he doesn't actually bring her flowers EVERY day!" OK, just every day he comes home from work. Any hour. The only days he skips are when he's out of town or the Sabbath or Sunday, when we're together...unless he goes out somewhere, in which case, he includes Sunday. Many Sunday mornings he'll go out to Starbucks and bring me back my favorite coffee. AND flowers. And the day before he goes out of town, he usually gives me TWO bouquets, saying "the other one is because I can't get you flowers tomorrow."
Do I LIKE flowers? Does my daughter like her fake Chanel earrings? Does the Pope wear a yarmulke? The answer is: DUH. Flowers are my "love language." I love them. My house feels dull without them. I treasure all of them. Wanna make my day? Go to Pike Place Market and pick up one of those amazing bouquets arranged by the deft hands of the Korean vendors there. I did a small favor for friends, and when they surprised me with such a bouquet, with the grandest striated pink and cream tulips arranged with little purple and lemon flowers...well, I was nearly speechless.
Hint to guys: I'm not the only female who feels like this. Hint to all children: Give your mom flowers. Not tomorrow, when the price has been jacked up 100%, but before Shabbos, and when you come home, unexpectedly. Write her a POEM for tomorrow. Tell her how you feel. Give her a big hug. And, most importantly: LET HER TAKE YOUR PICTURE. Smile and be pleasant about it, please? And be in several WITH her.
DO NOT buy Mom a teddy bear or any other stuffed animal. Do not buy her a figurine or a little box. Do not buy her candy because even if it's the kind she likes, she feels guilty eating it. Do not buy her clothing, because even if she doesn't care for it, she'll wear it. Do not give her purchased schlocky jewelry, though shlocky jewelry made by anyone under age 12 is most welcome and will be worn, you can be sure, every Mother's Day hence.
My daughter away at college sent me something cute. A "monk-e-mail" Mother's Day greeting. You pick out the chimp, dress him or her, pick out the background and then can either have a voice simulate your written message or you can phone in your own voice for the ape to, well...ape. I'd never seen this before, and everyone in the room was wailing with laughter. Especially to hear the simulator say "naches" and "bachorah." Make your own message: http://www.careerbuilder.com/monk-e-mail/
I have lots of friends who are mothers, but it's not an obligation of one mother to send mother's day greetings to others in the same boat. Well, I must say, my dear twinnie-friend, who is the role-model of chesed, and about the most generous person on the planet, of COURSE put me to shame and gave me two dozen of the most breathtaking marbled roses AND a big bar of daaaaark chocolate. Flowers and candy from a friend, WOW.
Now that we've dispensed with the Mother's Day advice, I must address the fact that Mother's Day is not Jewish. I've heard rabbis I respect say we do not observe Mother's Day because "every day is Mother's Day" for Jews. That's a cop-out. "Honor thy father and thy mother" does not let you out of participating in our cultural celebration, sorry. Jewish mothers are not exempt from reading the Sunday advertising supplements that have been SCREAMING for the past two months, "If you love your mother, you better buy her something good!" And she knows YOU'VE seen those ads, and heard them on the radio and TV, too. It's like the Fourth of July--we love Yom Hatzmaut, but we still shoot off fireworks for American Independence Day. Treat Mom like a Queen every day, but...well, write her a poem for Mother's Day.