JENNIFER FLANDERS, Family Matters:
Mother’s Day is right around the corner, and I already know what I’m getting this year: a new daughter-in-law! Our son Samuel is getting married on May 14th, just four days before he graduates from medical school, and we could not be any happier with his choice of brides. His beloved is beautiful inside and out, and we are delighted to have her joining our family.
Barring the option of offering up a once-in-a-lifetime gift like a Sunday afternoon wedding, there are lots of other great ways to remember Mom on her special day, even if you’ve waited until the last minute to think of it. Here are a few of my favorite gifts, presented with love from my little ones in years past.
Perhaps your mother would be equally thrilled with something off this list:
• Flowers – Store-bought bouquets are pretty, but I especially adore the handpicked variety. Arrange a fistful of wildflowers in a mason jar, tie a scrap of lace around the neck of it, and give it to your mother with a hug or a kiss.
• Crafts – Pot holders woven on plastic looms. Pictures painted in vivid water colors. Handprints immortalized in ink or clay. This is the stuff that mothers cherish. One year, my son fastened two squares of scrap lumber together with leather hinges and wood-burned his entire Mother’s Day message to me. I still treasure that gift and all the love that he poured into it.
• Photos – Print some special snapshots of Mom’s favorite subjects – you! – and frame them with popsicle sticks or construction paper borders. If you’re feeling really industrious, put the pics in a photo album or scrapbook to be expanded upon in the future.
• Notes – In my book, it’s hard to beat a newsy letter or handwritten card, although a couple of my girls have found one way, by hiding lots of little love notes for me all around the house. They write sweet messages on sticky notes and affix them to light switches, cereal boxes, computer screens, car keys or countless other places where I’m sure to (eventually) find them. It makes my heart happy every time a new one shows up.
• Snacks – Bake Mom some cookies. Bring her a cup of hot tea. Fix her a hearty sandwich and a bowl of soup. Give her any kind of chocolate. Mothers have to eat, too, and are always grateful when somebody else does the cooking (especially if they clean up the kitchen mess, as well). I once had a toddler surprise me with a big bowl of juicy cherries and crunchy corn chips she’d mixed up herself; I ate every bite, happy to have a girl so eager to serve.
• Coupons – Make a booklet of vouchers you know Mom would like: Breakfast in bed, a 15-minute back rub, some help with the chores, an hour of uninterrupted silence. This is a gift that keeps on giving. Make sure she knows that the coupons never expire can be redeemed whenever she likes.
Jennifer Flanders is the happy mother of twelve wonderful children who bless her heart and enrich her life, not just on Mother’s Day, but every day of the year. You can read more from her by visiting www.flandersfamily.info