So I read this USA Today story about Mother’s Day gift ideas that give back. I took it as a suggestion that in lieu of jewelry or flowers or whatever it was you were planning on getting at 11:59 p.m. the night before, you instead give a gift of, say, a mosquito net for a family in Africa in my name. I’m supposed to melt with compassion and pride that my child has thought of others instead of me, and think it’s the greatest Mother’s Day gift ever.
Apparently I’m the worst person on Earth, because my initial, gut reaction was: WHAT?! All I do is GIVE to you family people, what with your constant need for food, shelter, love, Band-Aids, someone to get the booger off your finger — and on the one day you are supposed to think about ME for a change, you get somebody else a gift?!
I know, I suck. But you thought it too, didn’t you? Of course you did. Because it’s our DAY.
I told Mr. Embee about my musings on this topic and he worried that readers might hunt me down if I reveal how selfish I am. Bless his heart. So I’m asking, please don’t hunt me down, because if I’m maimed or killed, it’ll be harder to keep the blog going. Also, I slept on it and had some further thoughts. And guess what? Turns out I’m not a total jerk.
I’m not into huge gifts for Mother’s Day. I do not expect jewels on any Sunday in May. I also would not reject them, but you see what I’m saying. I truly love “activity” gifts. I want to spend time with my husband and child, much as that may shock you all. (Side note: Dads, you are required to make sure the Baby Mama is regaled on Mother’s Day. Don’t pull that “but you’re not MY mom” thing. When your kids are old enough to take matters into their own hands, they should, but you still need to do something for the moms in your life. I’m not going to say it’s the price of admission, but hey, a girl’s gotta feel loved. I digress.) Anyway really, please, don’t spend a bunch of money — amuse us. Take us on a picnic, bring us breakfast in bed, offer to change every diaper that day. Whatever. Make it a day where mom either gets to do something she really enjoys and/or gets out of something she hates. To us, that says you thought about the mom, and to an entire class of people for whom ‘taking care of myself’ equals tossing back a gummy vitamin, that kind of consideration really does mean a lot. Those vitamins are good, though.
Then I thought about USA Today even more. And I realized it’s a genius plan for the kids/dads out there who are intellectually incapable of planning anything in advance. Imagine with me: It’s Sunday morning. Mom comes downstairs. You realize you have completely failed. You didn’t even know Mother’s Day was in the spring. Hop on the computer, click a few buttons, and Ta-dah! “Happy Mother’s Day, honey. I was just about to make you an omelet. After I do the dishes and dress the kids, we’ll go on a relaxing family walk. Oh, and I’ve been thinking a lot about how important women are to the health and well-being of their families — nay, the world — and I provided a year of schooling for an Afghan girl in your name.”
Admission granted, hot stuff!
Okay, so I’m a little bit of a jerk still. But I’m a jerk with a soft spot, so I went to a bunch of the sites and saw all the adorable kids hugging their llamas and excited to eat mush, and my heart absolutely caved in. So in honor of all the moms who read this blog, I provided a safe birthing kit to a refugee mom (the water buffalo are a little beyond my budget). Somewhere in a war-torn country, the International Rescue Committee is going to bring a woman a kit, including blankets and clothes for her newborn, so that she and the baby can get a decent start. USA Today was right: I feel all warm inside, and I don’t think it’s the Bailey’s in my coffee. Happy Mother’s Day, everyone.
I still want a present.
In all seriousness, lots of moms are going through the stuff of nightmares this year. I hope many families will consider helping someone less fortunate out. The USA Today story has links to several reputable organizations that make it easy to donate. Chem ’em out. And don’t stalk me.