Mother’s Day has become another “Hallmark Holiday”. With the expanse of social media it has become something of a contest of who gave the most expensive gift rather than celebrating and giving back! I remember growing up my mother always loved the “homemade” gifts that were given to her. This year as I have been out of work for almost a month, I was conflicted about finding the perfect gift for Sarina. I was having a hard time differentiating between what was really important and what society would deem as an appropriate gift. It was a humbling time for me. I had very limited finances and yet my wife had done so much for me and the kids. She deserved something special. I was a little depressed when it came to the “Special Day” as I didn’t have any grandiose ideas! My daughter Taylor had come up with some great ideas and I had blanked… Tay had listened and remembered things she and Sarina had talked about and had taken her siblings shopping for things that Sarina wanted. The gifts were thoughtful and practical and really said “Thank you for everything you have done for my siblings and I”.I was super proud of Taylor as she had taken both Lili and Jon out on separate occasions, spending quality time together and shopping for both of their moms. It really spoke to me as a proud daddy moment and was tough at the same time I felt a little bit less worthy of the life I had and blessed by the people I had in it. I fought depression off if it was just barely. I struggled with feeling sorry for myself and focusing on the money I had not made over the last month. It was then that I realised life is not about the “shit” you buy or the physical stuff that you are able to buy. It really does come down to the thoughtfulness of the gift and there really is nothing like the gift constructed of “love”….
I remembered an art project I had seen at the store a couple of weeks back that stuck in my head. Garden paving stones that Lili and I could make together and she could paint and decorate. We begun by mixing the concrete, I poured and Lili mixed, this really was going to be her project, her masterpiece, her vision. I was just glad that it had butterflies on the stone (something that reminds Sarina of her late grandmother).
Our only problem that we ran into was that the concrete needed to dry for 8 hours and Mother’s Day was the next day! We decided to let Mom sleep in and we would paint the stepping stone the following day. It was a good thing that I had bought a second art project to occupy Lili while the concrete dried. It was this smaller gift that we would be able to give mom on actual Mother’s Day, while the stepping stone would be given on Monday when our “family” celebrated Mother’s Day all together.
As our family continues to evolve and grow, I realise that I can’t change any of my children any more than my parent’s could change me. My older kids have all become who they are supposed to be, they are polite and thoughtful, hard working in their own way and all of them have aspirations and dreams. We are all continuing to live out our journey and doing our best to become the person we all want to be. We don’t always agree and there are times we barely can handle each other’s idiosyncrasies. However, we love each other and we are working through it. Lili painted her Mother’s Day projects they way she wanted them.
Even though I often bump heads with my children, I am proud of the people they are growing into.
I am proud that they dance to the drums they hear in their heads and don’t care what anyone else says. In their own way they made Sarina feel special on Mother’s Day, thanked her for all she’s done, and did it in their own way.
I realised that I am not very tall when I’m sitting on my wallet, however, standing with my family no one is taller.