A Practical Mother’s Day

When I was young, my siblings and I would each buy $1 roses at our church and give them to our mother on Mother’s Day. She found the gesture sweet, but of course, if a seven-year-old gives you anything, you’re going to find it very sweet.

We upgraded the gesture when we got a little older by going to one of those gift shops at the mall that sold roses made out of glass that were artificially scented. “This rose won’t die like the others!” we exclaimed. My mother still keeps the dusty little object on her vanity.

When we got into our teens and found part-time minimum wage jobs, we started to celebrate Mother’s Day in a more classic kind of way: roses, still, and cards, but also taking her out for Sunday brunch after church. She seemed to find it all very enjoyable.

But when I hit 18 and went off to college, my mother announced that she no longer wanted flowers or cards or brunches for Mother’s Day. Flowers end up in the garbage, she said, and cards are nice but they always say the same thing, and brunches aren’t even all that fun. Please, if you’d like to celebrate Mother’s Day, just give me the money you’d spend on those things so I can pay down the mortgage. Otherwise, don’t waste your money.

A practical Mother’s Day, essentially.

So I’ll be sending my mother another Mother’s Day check. I usually mail it with a card that says, “Please consider using this to do something nice for yourself!” though I know she never does.

This year, I found myself too busy to buy and send a card with the check, so I’ll be Paypaling one of my siblings to give the money to her. I imagine she’ll find that a very practical thing to do.

Photo: Manuel

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