Wednesday, May 5, 2010

THE BEST MOTHER'S DAY GIFT

This is hard to write. And like some other blogs, I expect to make somebody mad.

Jewelry can be nice, if you know the person’s current tastes. I even give myself some, though not the kind that would put me through graduate school or even traffic school. Being taken to lunch is nice, especially if the host doesn’t look at his watch mid-entree. Candy is nice, in small amounts with no comments about calories. I don’t even know if they make gift hankies anymore.

What I really like is something that lasts my whole life. Respect.

I guess most people are sure they respect their mothers. Do they? Here are some clues. Sentences that start with “You won’t. . .” are rarely respectful. Jokes about Mom’s fiber supplement are ugly. “You’re not allowed to eat that.” That’s a thing you say to a three-year-old. Here are some others.

“I’m taking you to my doctor.”

“ A boyfriend at your age? Don’t be silly.”

“Watch out (grabbing Mom’s arm) there’s someone behind you.” The person behind Mom is probably grown up and capable of saying “Pardon me.”

What you just said to Mom-- Would you say it to your boss? To Cathy Bates? To Bionce?

I love sentences that start with “May I . . .” and “Would you like . . .?”

I remember the Happy Days episode when Fonzie decided his grandma was senile. She set him straight with a few demonstrations like what it’s like to have arthritis (pebbles in his shoe.) Her bird that Fonz thought was imaginary flew in. I don’t remember the rest , but I think it deserved an award.

A good thing to call mom is Mom or Mother, no matter how many grandchildren she has.

How many people call Mom when it’s not Mother’s Day, and ask her if she’s having fun? Do the kids want to get to know her? Ever ask Mom her opinion, and not tell her why she’s wrong? Tell her you love her, before she tells you?

My daughter, seeing so many doctors and dentists on my calendar, urged me to give myself a break from that stress by telling the docs I need a little slack on the appointment schedule. That was a gift.

1 comment:

k.gast said...

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, the most underrated concept extant. I would add that it would be nice if you did not tell Mom she's wrong even when she is, and especially not in tones that indicate you are far wiser to the ways and facts of life than she. She didn't just wander into her present days by being completely inept.

I've one friend who thinks Mother's Day is only for florists and greeting card companies. Probably not far from the truth, as I agree that it's the other 364 days/years that count most in our mother-child relationships. I'm sure I thought I respected my mother, yet gave her a few twinges, however she was a straightforward individual who could in many ways let you know she was going to be who she was in spite of you. Belatedly, Mom: Good on you! Hope I absorbed some of that.

By the way, I found hankies at a shop here that sells vintage clothes and has heaps of jewelry that I remember from the 40s, 50s, and 60s. Other than that---hankies and dinosaurs.