June 20th… I Finally Used My Mother's Day Present
Divorced mothers tend to get gypped on Mother's Day because dad no longer feels compelled, or more accurately,
required to take the little ones shopping to ensure a proper gift is purchased for the gal who gives so much of
herself to so many people.
I have received more school Mother's Day projects, coupons for future chores I know they will never actually do,
and dollar store trinkets that fall apart when I unwrap the newspaper the kids deliver them in, than I can shake a
This past Mother's Day was no exception. My son, who managed to save about a dollar of his total year's
allowance, bought me a package of gum wrapped in some brightly colored construction paper secured snuggly with
about a mile of Scotch tape.
I don't even like gum or allow the cheap little gift giver to chew it either, so I had no idea why he thought this gift
would be appropriate. The price was right I'm sure and you can get a pack of gum just about anywhere, at anytime,
even on the morning of one of my least favorite of all holidays... Mother's Day.
Since the entire year is basically "spend the day with your kid's day", I thought this year for Mother's Day I would
treat myself to a day at the spa, followed by a night at the movies after a wonderfully fulfilling steak dinner... alone!
Which, of course I was unable to do because this was not dad's weekend and my mother nearly fainted at my
suggestion that she watch them while I selfishly treated myself to a little rest and relaxation.
Of course my daughter is old enough to watch them but considering the gum in the hair trauma my youngest
experienced the last time I left them all alone and hence the no gum rule, I didn't want to just create more work for
myself repairing whatever damage may have been done while I was out.
So, I got stuck spending Mother's Day with the kids, just like every other day of the year and not one decent
present to show for it.
Now, before you think me so callous, I was already taught a lesson by powers higher than myself.
Yesterday, more than a month after the day in question, I found my son crying alone in his room. I usually pretend
not to notice these things and back away as slowly and quietly as possible, but I tripped over the boulder my
daughter gave me for Christmas last year as a much needed doorstop, and crashed into an end table littered with
home-made clay ashtrays and assorted paper weights from holidays past.
My son came out of his room, wiping away the tears from his wet face and I felt so bad for him I cleaned the mess
up myself as he told me what was wrong.
To my horror, he was upset that I had not used my Mother's Day present. "Of course I had", I lied "I chewed a piece
just the other day at work".
You see, I do know my children have feelings and I took a couple of sticks out of the pack on the way to work
shortly after getting his lovely gift so he would know I appreciated it.
He shook his head no, the tears flowing freely once again. "Last night you made dinner", he sobbed, "and you cut
up the onions and you were crying and I got upset because I don't like to see you crying because it reminds me of
when daddy left...and,and.."
He couldn't even finish his sentence he was crying so badly, and for the life of me I had no idea what he was going
on about. I asked him what me cutting up onions had to do with his giving me gum for Mother's Day and he said
through the sobs, "Didn't you read the card"?
Uh, the card? I had not seen a card, I swear it to you all. He said he had written a card on the inside of the
wrapping paper and that he had spent almost a week getting it just right.
Okay, here is a great time to interject that me being environmentally irresponsible is not entirely a bad thing. It
generally takes me at least six weeks or so to fill up the recycling bin and there was about a one in fifty or so
chance that I had unknowingly tossed his carefully crafted letter there.
Please, please let this be the one time I remembered to recycle. I dug through the bin and by God's good grace I
found the wrapping paper/slash Mother's Day card, but almost wish I hadn't.
Here is what it said:
Happy Mother's Day Mommy. I thought about what to get you and figured the best I could do was to try and make
you happy, but according to dad I would never be able to afford it.
So, I figured some more and thought that if I could do something to keep you from crying that ought to be just as
I know when you cook dinner sometimes and cut up onions you cry a lot. I know you are not sad but it makes me
think about when you were so you must feel that way to.
I learned on the T.V. that if you chew gum when you cut onions you won't cry so I just thought that would be the
best Mother's day present of all.
I Love you, happy Mother's day!
Oh my. My little man had actually given me about the best present a mom could ever hope for. I promised to bring
home some more onions and we would give it a try and you know what, it actually worked!
Maybe I just convinced myself it would because there was no way on God's green earth I was going to shed a tear
in front of him.
I've since collected all my "cheap" gifts and stored them in a place where they will always be safe because each
one was given out of love by the most wonderful children a mom could ever hope to spend each and every day of
the year with especially Mother's Day.
P.S. My only regret is I did not have this story available for the Mother's Day contest SearchWarp had a while back,
I just know it would have come in second or third!