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Mother’s Day and What Matters

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Mother’s Day was easy when I was little; it involved picking lilies of the valley, making a card, and offering them both to my mother with great love, both for her and for gift-giving. I still love to acknowledge my mother with gifts, and I wandered for almost an hour yesterday, perusing store shelves, before I chose the perfect scarf and earrings.

When I became a mother myself I was blessed with two sons, and they’ve never been all that interested in gift-giving. Now that they’re 16 and 12 and have both the social awareness and the occasional funds to buy presents for people, they generally choose a lazy way to acknowledge the holiday.

Their father reminded them more than once that they should acknowledge me, the mother who has loved them since birth. They agreed with him, their eyes glued on their video monitor, but I’m sure it slipped their minds many times. As I sit typing this, my youngest is back on the Playstation, and the oldest is pretending to strangle his father, yelling “Say I’m the mightiest!”

His father, never one to bargain with terrorists, has refused, and now a scuffle has ensued. This has always been the way in our household: it is a domain of men who like to watch violent films, say violent things, and feign violent acts. It is not a place where I’m ever allowed to suggest shopping, singing, or Disney. It is also not a place where rough-and-tumble boys spend a lot of time thinking about what sort of flowery frippery their mother might enjoy on a day that acknowledges mothers.

So I don’t know what they’ll come up with on Mother’s Day—and ultimately it doesn’t really matter. I’ll be glad to be with them at all; they’re fun and funny, and best of all, they’re healthy, and there’s really no greater gift than that.

I’ve got a permanent Mother’s Day gift, and it comes in the forms of my ebullient, exuberant children. I feel so lucky to be a mother at all.

Happy Day to all the mothers out there. Enjoy your children and the gift of their presence.

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About Julia Buckley