As a kid, I always enjoyed making something nice for my mom on Mother’s Day.
That time of year would come around and my teachers would always have some special craft planned for us to do—something we could create for our family matriarch that would bring a smile to her face and let her know how much we loved and appreciated her. Typically, this would often involve cardboard flowers, glue and lots of colourful tissue paper.
My favourite part was always making the card. And I think that comes from seeing how much my mom loved them. She still does. In fact, just the other day she explained to me how those personalized messages still mean more to her than any gift she’s ever gotten. And even as I’ve grown up and no longer live close enough to get together on special days like this, as often, I’m reminded that words do more good than any shiny trinket can.
“Just send me a card or give me a call,” she has often told me when I ask her if there is anything special she’d like for Mother’s Day. And I know it’s because time together means more to her than anything.
Living on opposite sides of the country has meant that our visits are few and far between these days. And, unfortunately, it also means that our Mother’s Day visits have to take place over a video call. It certainly isn’t ideal, but I also know that those conversations still mean a lot to her—to both of us—because it’s one-on-one time and a chance to show her that she is loved, missed and appreciated. It’s a day to celebrate the relationship we have as mother and daughter and the childhood memories that make the both of us smile.
Like the times she made up bedtime stories before I went to sleep. Stories filled with fantastical misadventures about the two of us making spaghetti or going swimming at the beach. I think about the homemade Christmas decorations, the birthday parties she put on and the way she always dressed my sister and I alike—complete with giant matching bows in our hair.
I know these memories mean as much to her as they do to me, so any chance to rehash them is always welcome. And since my son was born, I know she relishes the chance to celebrate this special day as a grandmother and to have me join her in the festivities as a mom now, too.
But honestly, it still feels strange to be one of those special people getting celebrated on Mother’s Day. Maybe it’s because I’m still new to the Mommy gig and I have a toddler who has yet to learn the proper etiquette of spoiling someone.
I can’t help but laugh when I think back to last year when, on Mother’s Day morning, I was woken to the sound of my sweet boy bouncing into the room, excitedly calling my name. He jumped up onto the bed beside me, with my husband handing him a plate that he then passed to me with a giant smile.
They had woken up early and made me my first Mother’s Day breakfast in bed … how sweet! “I made waffles,” he exclaimed, and before I could reply with a word of thanks, he grabbed the waffle off of the plate, took a bite and ran off with it. I looked up at my husband who broke into laughter, apologized and then chased after our kid as I was left in the room, half asleep in the dark, holding an empty plate and now hungry for waffles.
Luckily, there were more upstairs.
A sleep in was what I had been originally hoping for, but this is a memory that still makes me giggle and it was definitely worth the early-morning wake-up call and stolen breakfast.
I have to say, I agree with my mom. It’s not about the physical gifts on Mother’s Day. No, it’s about the moments. The messages of love. The conversations. The memories. It’s about celebrating the relationship you have with the person who raised you and/or your own children too.
And so, whether you are able to celebrate in person, over the phone or spend the day treasuring memories of a loved one who has passed, I hope that each and every one of you is able to take some time, this Mother’s Day, by celebrating the love and special bonds that this day encapsulates.