Every year for the past 18 years, since becoming a mother, my family wants to know what I want for Mother’s Day. Do I want to go out to dinner? How about a new kitchen gadget? Brunch? Maybe some perfume? I am always hard pressed to come up with an answer because there is nothing that I really need and very little that I want. I try to think of something that will make me happy, but will also make them feel as though they have pleased me. We often go out to eat because that is definitely something that pleases us all!
Last Mother’s Day we went to brunch at “the Club”. We have never belonged to a club before and I certainly didn’t know any “clubby” people growing up. Incidentally, I thought it would be kind of like Caddyshack, but it’s not. Not a Baby Ruth to be found. It’s a pretty casual place and we don’t participate in many of the Club activities other than my husband playing golf and my son cleaning out the pool snack bar during the summer. Brunch seemed like an easy solution for last year’s Mother’s Day present. We all got dressed up, sat at a table with real linens, ate a bit too much, and then came home. The meal was very nice and the kids behaved impeccably. They both looked exceptionally well turned out and my then 11-year old boy kept his napkin in his lap. His sister smiled at him benevolently and helped him navigate the buffet. What more could a mother ask for? It turns out I do want something a little more, something a little less “napkin in the lap”.
My dear family, this year I ask for your presence instead of presents*. With our daughter leaving for college in August, I feel more acutely than ever that our days and dynamics as a foursome are going to change. This year for Mother’s Day, I have very specific instructions. I want:
- Coffee brought to me on the patio, and the bringer to sit and have a chat with me.
- Forced Family Fun (more commonly known as a game of Uno, Scrabble or Bananagrams).
- A bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon and a piece of Champignon cheese to share with Dad (I told you this was specific).
- A simple dinner that I don’t have to prepare or clean up (it is Mother’s Day, after all).
- A hug. In fact, let’s make it three.
- A walk after dinner with whomever would like to join me.
I want what every other mother wants. I want to enjoy my children, mark this moment in time before it slips away, admire how beautiful and good you both are, share laughter with the man who helped me make this unique family possible, thank God for each of our many blessings, and not do any laundry. Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers out there, and I hope you all receive the presence you want, too.
*I have a very kind and generous husband who has better taste than I do. Something shiny in a big or little box would be okay, too, I guess.