I chuckle. “I don’t know.”
“I think we should do something to celebrate.”
“Go to dinner.”
“Well, that’s up to you and your dad.” I drop her off at her grandparents’ house for the weekend and pick her up on Mother’s Day.
She greets me with a bouquet of yellow daffodils from Gran’s garden. On the drive home, she asks me repeatedly to take her to Barnes & Noble so she can buy me something with her $5. She adds that she hopes there’s enough to buy herself something, too, which makes me smile.
“Why don’t you make me something?” I ask. “That would be more special.”
“If that’s true, why did Dad buy you a gift?”
“Because it’s easier.” Not that I’m complaining about the pedicure gift certificate because that’s exactly what I wanted. But I know whatever my daughter creates for me will be one-of-a-kind. I know next year, even if she gave me the exact same present, it would be different because she will have grown and honed her talents a little more.
My mind drifts back to one of my first Mother’s Days. “One year when you were a toddler, you brushed my hair ever so gently and I thought that was the perfect Mother’s Day gift.”
She doesn’t remember. “Do you think you’ll have the energy to take me to the bookstore when we get home?”
My head starts to throb. “No, Sweetie. I’m tired.”
“But I feel like I should get you something.”
When we get home, she disappears into her room. But not for long. She comes out and hands me a white bookmark with a drawing of a cat on it. It took her about five minutes. It’s not even colored.
Here’s the thing: This gift represents who my daughter is. She doesn’t like to draw or color. She doesn’t like to be alone in her room. She is thoughtful enough to remember Mother’s Day and to know that a bookmark is an ideal gift for a mom who loves to read.
“I love it,” I say and give her a hug. “I’ll treasure it forever.” Longer than she spent making it. Long after my pedicure gets chipped. As long as I’m a mother, I’ll treasure a homemade gift from my child.
Award-winning author Karen Lenfestey writes “happy endings with a twist” in her novels. She writes about the complicated relationships between husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, and of course, mothers and their children. Visit Karen's Author Page