Today I received my first ever Mother's Day gift made by a child of mine.
I remember making these as a kid. My primary teacher would give me a template that I would fill out. Something along the lines of "I love my mom because . . ." and then I'd write something and try to be sincere. Then I'd color the flowers printed on the page and my teacher would put it in a dollar store brass frame and I'd proudly give it to my mother after church.
She's smile and say thank you and give me a hug.
Then she'd get six more identical gifts.
Some weeks later I found my framed gift in a trash bag. And to be completely honest with you, I totally understood. Sure, I suppose there was a fraction of my childlike heart that wondered why my mom would trash my gift, but I distinctly remember not feeling bad, not even one iota. After all, it was more of an assignment rather than a voluntary offering. And over the years I'm sure she had received many many many such items, in varying degrees of tackiness. She just didn't want to be burdened with the junk. She had her children, and they were the most precious gift anyway.
Then there's my mother-in-law whom I am sure has kept every single mother's day card/letter/gift that her six children have given her through the years. She's the kind of woman that treasures every "memory" (as she calls them) no matter how small or trivial, and keeps them forever.
Two different responses, and yet I am sure that both my mother and my mother-in-law love their children fiercely. I know of no two women more devoted to their children and grandchildren than these two.
So today as I received my Ikea oven mitt upon which my daughter had scribbled with markers and her nursery leader had traced her hand and misspelled her name, I felt a strange role reversal.
To own the truth, I was delighted to receive the gift, even though the teacher gave it to me and not my daughter and in fact Jenny had no idea why she made it and was supposed to give it to me.
I have been needing a new oven mitt for a while now.