Mom Deserves Some Awesome Gifts, Too!
I've done my time. For years I've dutifully decorated my fridge with my kid's masterpieces—even those that looked more like poop smudges than fine art. I've treasured drinking my morning coffee out of the cup that has "#1 Mom" painted across it. I have every mommy-gift my daughter's ever given me—from the paper-tissue flower to the green popsicle-stick photo frame—adoringly preserved in a suede shoebox. I love each memory ... but, jeez, when is enough enough?!
My daughter is now 15. She gets an allowance and has a job that earns her pretty serious cash. So as my birthday approached this year and I overheard her talking on the phone to a friend, I was hurt to hear her whine, "Oh, crap. My mom's birthday's this Friday. Oh well, it doesn't matter. I'll just burn her a CD of some dumb music. She'll love it."
The truth is I won't love it. And what's worse, unlike the paper-tissue flower that required at least 10 minutes of effort, the burned CD of pirated music that she didn't pay for will take her all of five seconds to make! It won't make me feel special and it certainly won't make me feel loved.
I've been thoughtful and generous with my daughter every year, culminating in the gift of a much-desired iPod for her birthday last month. She didn't think I'd get it for her, but I scrimped and saved so that I could. She's a good kid and I wanted her to enjoy some luxury.
So that night, after I heard her on the phone, I told her that I wanted her to spend some of her money on a real present for me. I told her that a big part of what makes a gift special is the sacrifice that goes into getting it. I'm not sure she got what I was saying, but I'm glad I said it.
It felt fantastic to be honest with her about what really makes me happy. And isn't that the right lesson to teach a young woman—to be courageous enough to ask for what she wants? I want a nice vase instead of a painted clay pot. I want the Breakfast at Tiffany's DVD instead of another breakfast in bed, complete with a messy kitchen for me to clean up later. I want my daughter to look back at that #1 Mom mug and treat me like I really am number one this year.