I hadn’t planned to write about Mother’s Day for this posting, after all, what more can be said about it? But then my sister-in-law asked if I would trimming drawings– some in colored-pencil, some with markers–done by the children and teens of her church to give their Mom’s. As I slid the blade of the paper cutter up and down, along the lines of each child’s message to Mom, a flood of memories came back to me.
I remembered the homemade cards my own sons had done for me, mostly made in their classroom at school, of construction paper and cut-out flowers glued to the fronts with their simple, hand-lettered messages scrawled inside: “I love you. Happy Mother’s Day.” Construction paper doesn’t hold up as well over time as other paper mediums, it crumbles into flakes so I no longer have many, if any, of those lovely greeting cards. But I can see them in my mind’s eye just as if they had given them to me yesterday.
More lasting were some of the handcrafted gifts that they created at school for the special day. In particular, are the little square boxes made of wooden popsicle sticks stacked like a Lincoln log house and glued together in the corners. Each was painted and had a top individually decorated with various shaped pasta pieces. One is a delicate pink with pieces of shell-shaped macaroni pasted to it. Another is plain wood with rainbow colored twisted pasta pieces, rotelli and macaroni. The third is golden, again with the rotelli, bow-tie and twisted pasta attached to the top. There’s also a small block of wood on this one, a handle by which the lid can be lifted. I keep them in a drawer and use them to store my costume jewelry where I see or touch them almost daily.
On another Mother’s Day, I received baked clay figurines. One of my son’s sculpted what appears to be a steagosaurus, the length of my forefinger and painted blue and green and nicely finished with a shiny glaze. I keep it on a little shelf near by kitchen along with some other collectible figurines that aren’t nearly as precious to me.
As they grew older, the gifts changed or stopped entirely. One year, however, I asked for and received from my youngest son, who was writing poetry, if he would write a poem for me. He did. It was about dusk falling over New York City, where he now lives. I placed it in clear glass and it hung, for a time, in his old bedroom at home. Now I have it among my keepsakes.
My oldest son, also a fine writer but different, made a card with a photo of a lighthouse, of which he knows I’m fond, that he found on-line and printed a simple, but heartfelt message inside. This stands on my bookshelf in my studio where it’s easily in view.
Sure, over the years I was given some lovely Mother’s Day presents, a lot of flowers and treated to brunches or dinners out. But truly, the ones that I treasure are those simple, handmade, hand-crafted or handwritten gifts or cards. Who knows where the pictures I trimmed this morning will end up? In some shoe box saved along with other, similar drawings? In a little frame that sits at work on a desk? Or slipped into a scrapbook with the grade cards and photos from school? One thing I do know, the will certainly bring a smile, maybe even a tear to each Mom who receives them and maybe, like my own, become an enduring memory of the little one who created it and gave it with love.