Personally, I don't believe I've ever felt more queen-like than when my sons were all little boys and brought home precious homemade cards and handwritten notes that they'd made for me at school.
And while we're on the subject, I'd like to give a shout-out to the wonderful elementary school teachers who come up with these cute little projects for their students to do as gifts for their moms. I treasure my boys' construction paper flowers, made with their own two hands, more than anything they could order me from FTD. I treasure the words they wrote out for me in pencil, neatly printed or done in perfect Catholic school cursive (which in no way resembles their adult handwriting styles!), more than any way-too-expensive card they could find for me at the Hallmark store. I keep these priceless gifts stored in plastic pages in an over-sized binder. Looking at some of them today made me smile.
HERE'S A GIFT FOR MOTHER'S DAY.
I'LL TRY MY BEST IN EVERY WAY.
BUT WHEN YOU GET UPSET WITH ME
RELAX AND HAVE A CUP OF TEA.
LOVE, D----- PEARL
Okay, two things about that one: 1) The poem says "when you get upset with me," not "if." So I guess it's assumed that, Mother's Day notwithstanding, the child is planning that he will probably be naughty at some point, and he hopes the tea bag will serve as a little peace offering. And 2) My son made sure to include his last name, just so there wouldn't be any confusion about whom it was from. (He was definitely in good company there, because his brothers usually added their last names, too, until they hit the 4th grade and decided first names alone wouldn't throw me for a loop anymore.) I was so amused by this little Mother's Day present. I loved it.
Another little gem, given to me by my darling baby boy--that is, son #5--when he was in kindgergarten, was a fill-in-the-blanks page with facts all about me. Apparently, I liked to eat at "Brgrking." (No, he liked to eat at Burger King! But great job at creating a killer vanity plate for the Hamburglar, son!) And my favorite thing to do was "werck." (I have never worked outside the home, so when I saw that one, I asked him what kind of werck he meant. He was talking about how I volunteered as a lunch lady on Mondays at his school...I mean, don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it--mostly because it gave me a chance to see him and his brothers during their school day. I could be a fly on the wall and watch my kids interacting with their friends at lunchtime. But my favorite thing? Being a lunch lady? Hmmm. I don't think so.)
In 2nd grade, my #3 son wrote out a beautiful letter inside his card. It included some facts about me, and one was that his mom liked "to take care of the babby." That was so true; I LOVED taking care of his babby brother. That was higher on my list, by a mile, than being a lunch lady. He ended with the words, "MOM LOVES ME. I LOVE MOM." That's the whole point of Mother's Day, right there in a nutshell.
In 3rd grade, my oldest son made a bouquet of construction paper flowers in a paper pot, with a little poem on the front:
PICK A FLOWER AND YOU WILL SEE
THE JOBS YOU'LL PICK THIS WEEK FOR ME.
On the stem of each flower, he'd written out a job that he was going to do for me: "Set the Table." "Make my bed." "Wash the dishes." "Make my mom's bed." This was such a sweet gift. I loved it. (Note the way he signed it, with his last name included. Isn't that just adorable?)
Even when they got too old and cool for the construction paper projects of the K-3 years, my boys often made their own cards for me, and I treasure them. Take a good look at the hot pink card, which son #4 drew for me for Mother's Day 1997 (when he was nine). On the front it says: "YOU DO A LOT AROUND THE HOUSE..." And I am depicted sitting on a chair with my head in my hands, a baby crying in front of me, a boy climbing on the back of my chair yelling "Mom!", and my husband standing there naked from the waist up behind me saying, "Honey, where's my shirt?" I think this is just the most hilarious drawing. Don't I look beleaguered and pathetic? Inside, the card reads: "BUT TODAY, RELAX!" And I'm pictured doing a little shimmying dance and saying, "Yes!"--with one of my sons standing shirtless behind me, frowning. (I guess son #4 thought one of my main jobs was getting people their shirts.) This card is definitely a keeper.
Oh my gosh, looking at these actually made me both laugh (OL) and then feel all choked up, sitting here all by myself at my dining room table. I have just given myself a little Mother's Day gift with this trip down memory lane. Happy Mother's Day to me!