Friday, May 11, 2012

Mother's Day

Mother's day cards when hand crafted, give you a snap shot of how you are perceived. Not how you are doing. Not how the kids are doing.  But how the kid thinks you are in reality.  It isn't always pretty.

I'll never forget the daffodil card from my oldest son when he was 5.  

The front said, "I love my Mom because..."
and the inside had the answers from each kid in his class.  There were 20. 
The individual child's name was next to his answer. 

"She does everything I want."  I do what?  He thinks I do everything he wants? Is he kidding?  Is this a put on?  Is there another kid in the class with my kid's name?  

Then my daughter did the same experiment.  "She sometimes makes pancakes."  I could hear the subtle --not often enough in the compliment.  

The next child, who plays more close to the vest than the first two, answered thusly, "Because I just do." 

That's the problem with Mother's day cards. You get to just take them and appreciate them like pinched pots and dandelion bouquets.  You don't get to analyze or ask follow up questions.  You won't get anywhere if you try, and you're likely to scare them off by saying anything other than "Thanks." and "That's wonderful."   They'll just look you puzzled, "Don't you like your breakfast in bed?"  The answer is yes.  Not, "I now have to change the sheets because of the toast."  They are expressing love as children do, as you taught them...ergo, you must respond to teach them how to receive not being cynical, over analytical or becoming a private eye about their inner psyche. 

Today, I received a poem from my 8 year old, and a drawing of me as a princess with a crown, wearing a beautiful dress and holding roses while riding a unicorn from my pre-schooler.  "I couldn't wait to give you this." the 2nd grader explained.  "Me too." my newly five year old chimed in...even though she just made the picture when she heard that her brother had a poem for me. 

"Mom thank you for feeding me.
Oh thank you for sending me to a good school.
Mom thanks for everything you do for me." 

"I have a bit of trouble with poetry. I couldn't make it rhyme so I did me and me and look, it spells Mom." 
"I made you magical and I'm going to make you another picture where you are a superhero and have a magic wand and a crown and a Pegasus."

There are 12 drawings of me in a stack.  Archetypal variations on a theme.  All of them say one thing, "Thanks mom."

"What are we going to do for Mother's day?" one of my other children asks.
"Whatever it is you want." I answer without thinking.

Now I know where the first one got his answer. Maybe I'll make pancakes for dinner. 


1 comment:

Joanne Lee said...

Happy mother's day sherry!

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