The Mother’s Day Gift vs. The Gifts of Mothers

Crystalized rose petals reassembled in whipped cream.

In some ways mothers are like flowers.  Each beautiful in their own way.  Some have strong stems but very delicate petals.  Others are like roses with layers upon layers upon layers of petals but you only see the ones on the surface.  Some speak softly with a delicate fragrance that catches you off guard when you take a moment to take a deep breath in like the honeysuckle, others.  Others speak so the world around them can hear without even trying, the scent of the lilac.  But, as Shakespeare says in his sonnet, the one characteristic that flowers, like summer, have is that they are more ephemeral than we are.  Spring, summer, fall or winter, moms are there for you (whether in person or not).

“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade…”

Shakespeare – Sonnet #18

Like flowers, chocolates come in all flavors, textures, and shapes, but like flowers, chocolates are also enjoyed in the moment and then the experience of the sweet smooth taste on your tongue and the joy of biting into something so delicious fades.

I love flowers, and I enjoy more than my fair share of amazing chocolates. When it comes to Mother’s Day, I don’t necessarily want either.  In New England the buds are all in bloom and all the flowers I want to take in envelope me the moment I step outside, look out the window, pick my children up from school.  As for chocolates, it’s warm outside, swimsuit weather is coming up and local fresh fruit, starting with rhubarb, is making its way to market stands and grocery stores.  (NB I’m only speaking for myself here.  I know plenty of people who still would love a bouquet of flowers or box of chocolates on mother’s day.)

My mom used to say, she didn’t want anything for mother’s day.  She just wanted the house clean, or for us to clean up after ourselves.  If you ask me what I want for mother’s day I don’t know that I’d have any better answer.  The job of mothers is everything and nothing.  It’s exhausting, devastating, frustrating, exciting, priceless, fun, and fabulous all in one single day, let alone a lifetime.  How do you find the perfect “token of appreciation” for such a thing?

There really isn’t the perfect way to celebrate motherhood.  The appreciation we capture is always  in the little things, tiny accomplishments, unplanned moments, and unexpected things heard/told/overheard.

(to be continued… because there is one material thing that can be a game changer.)

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