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The Best Mother’s Day Present Is The Present

by audra

Mother, do you think they’ll drop the bomb? Mother, do you think they’ll like this song? Mother, do you think they’ll try to break my balls? Ooooh aah, mother, should I build the wall? — Pink Floyd

“Mom, I made this for you.” says my twelve year old in an almost inaudible whisper. She has been sitting on my bed watching me with a perplexed expression as I inexpertly try to apply my makeup. A large frame has appeared from behind her back and she is holding it up like an offering. My eyes fill up with all of the things I suppose a teenage girl hates to see in their mom’s eyes right now; pride, love, vulnerability, awe. I get the biggest hug she can muster before she quickly scurries away, leaving me with the sweet relief that only our children can give us.

 She still loves me. 

Our time together these days hasn’t been easy and believe me when I say that I wasn’t expecting any gifts or hugs from her on this Mother’s Day.

She has had a lot of loss in her short life here on Earth and couple that with the anxieties young people feel about growing older, it is easy to understand how she feels that the whole world is shit. My role as her mom means taking a backseat driver position in her life and letting her steer. She chooses where she is going and I am guiding with little resistance. Even when it hurts that she is pushing me away the whole time.

But today was different, promising even.

She threw me a bone on a day where society pressures families to give mom a ‘perfect day’ which usually causes the opposite.

What is truly a perfect day for this mom?

How about a day that starts off with a fancy brunch in a restaurant where my toddlers run amok while people shoot me dirty looks? I wouldn’t have it any other way and look how adorable my little ones are trying to sit in their chairs while the restaurant takes an hour to bring the food out. They only misbehave for the last 15 minutes.

What about discovering paint all over my dining table from my babes making me the perfect Mother’s Day card? You can see that they pour their souls into their opus and can hardly wait (the paint hasn’t even dried) to give it to me– complete with a satisfying grin on their tiny faces. It’s better than any artwork that I own, have seen, or desired. When I’m old, I’ll pull it out as a reminder of the ‘life of mom’ that I’ve lived, and be happy with my memories because I didn’t bitch that my table had blue and red permanently etched into it. When I’m an old lady I will never remember the table, but I’ll always remember those sweet, satisfied little smiles.

How about my bed being made by the heathen children?  Their little footprints on my comforter, a dent in the pillow where the three year old took a quick rest because making a big bed is exhausting? Yes, the littlest one didn’t wash the chocolate candy that her daddy bought me off of her hands first, and my fine Egyptian cotton sheets now have little brown fingerprints all over them, but the idea that they probably spent a good half an hour on making my bed, just to see me happy, touches me in places that I didn’t know existed before having kids. They have managed to put big chocolate stains on my heart.

But the best “gift of gifts” is of a temporary  truce between my teen’s angst and her little girl heart that still yearns for the hugs and kisses from her mommy.

That will be one of my top ten memories in my life.

Sweetened with the fact it’s one of her skull drawings that she has sworn off ever giving me again.


I think this is the best Mother’s Days ever, ever, ever— exception being that big box of chocolate that I only got one piece of because the whole family scarfed it down.

I know, I know. I won’t remember that box of chocolate– only the little chocolate covered faces smiling up lovingly at me, and the sweet gesture of love from my teen’s heart.

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