What I Really Want for Mother’s Day

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

I’ll never forget my first Mother’s Day. It was like a second birthday had just been added to my calendar… a day of being celebrated, pampered, gifted and… thanked?

Of course, the little bundle in my arms was too little to say ‘thank you’ himself, so daddy bought me a necklace and card on his behalf.

Now I have two ‘not-so-little’ bundles of boyhood who are vaguely aware that there is a celebration on Sunday… but no candles to be blown out. This is confusing for them.

A couple of weeks ago, they were each given $10 to buy me a present. When I saw them in the afternoon, they could barely contain their excitement and I am impressed that they’ve kept my gifts a secret for so long!

I didn’t write out a gift wish list or drop (m)any hints (I may have mentioned something about a tea set) because all I’d really like this Mother’s Day is a heartfelt ‘thank you.’

Thanks for sitting up with me when I had a nightmare about sharing toys.
Thanks for wiping my tears, face, bottom.
Thanks for cooking me ravioli when I asked nicely.
Thanks for not getting too angry when I spilt my weet-bix this morning.
etc etc etc

The heart of Mother’s Day can get lost amongst the handmade cards, potpourri and slippers. What this mother wants (besides a sleep in and perhaps a long, hot bath) is to feel appreciated. Not because I think I belong on a pedestal but because raising grateful kids is one of the greatest gifts we can give society (and our kids).

I had to laugh as I read this blog by Em Rusciano – please only read it if you’re not easily offended by course language. Her daughter’s loom bands had got caught in their dog’s throat. After sticking her hand inside said dog’s mouth, she realised he could use a breath mint, or perhaps surgery to remove whatever had died in his gut. She also realised her daughter’s nonchalant response was indicative of one who hadn’t truly grasped the depth of what her mother had done for her.

How do we overcome this with our kids? To go beyond: ‘say thank you because that’s the thing we say’ to actually feeling thankful.

I always go way overboard when my kids do something thoughtful for me, like pick a flower, or put away a plate or bring over my slippers without being asked. I want to show them how I’m feeling on the inside in the hopes they’ll feel the same way when I do nice things for them, too. It also encourages them to keep doing nice things – their beaming faces as I gush gratitude say it all.

And each night at bedtime, I snuggle between them on the top bunk and we talk about all the things we’re thankful for about the day. It helps them remember they’re blessed and to be thankful.

So, Mother’s Day is when I get to see whether what I’ve been teaching them about gratitude has rubbed off.

And now that I’m a mother, it certainly makes me want to say ‘thank you’ to my mother with a whole new depth of understanding.

Thank you mothers for all you do!

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