Yesterday at the library, I answered the phone to an urgent voice. "I'm at the bookstore," he said, "and I need to know what to get my mom for Mother's Day." I had a small inward giggle at someone calling the library from the bookstore—they have booksmart people there, too. Also a silent groan and eye roll: it's only 4:30 on the day before Mother's Day, what's the hurry? Still, I asked him some questions about his mom's taste and then made some recommendations (Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake which I recommend to almost every woman older than about 35 or 40; Unbroken, and Frozen in Time as his mom likes nonfiction about history). The urgency was gone when he thanked me.
The very next phone call that came through was my husband. He wasn't at the bookstore (ha!), but his question was fairly similar: Give me some ideas for a Mother's Day gift.
Another deep sigh.
Mother's Day, like Valentine's Day, is not my favorite thing. From the talks in church about perfect moms (I actually dreamed this morning that I had to speak this morning in church, and my dream talk started out by stating how I wouldn't be talking about perfect moms) to the idea of gifts. I don't know—it all makes me uncomfortable.
I told Kendell not to worry, I wasn't expecting anything and what I really want for Mother's Day is for everyone to be nice to each other. And maybe a picture of me with my kids and no one complains about taking it. I wasn't being passive aggressive; that's really how I feel. But then I found myself writing a Helpful Guide for Husbands Who Don't Know What to Buy: gift cards and little tokens and even grand gestures.
I ran out of time to write it last night.
This morning, Kaleb woke me up at 7:30. He had an envelope for me to open, and four pictures he'd drawn for me. In the envelope were three pennies he'd found, and the pictures were of skeletons and dragons and hard work---he'd written about why he loved me, in his most careful penmanship, and not just a few words. (The quote in my title comes from one of his cards.)
And that, my friends, is Mother's Day in my mind. The sweetness of my child being himself and telling me he loves me. The only thing I really need is that reminder: I love you, Mom.