Thursday, May 13, 2010
Mother's Day from a Grandmother’s Perspective
I was never one that got too excited about Mother’s Day. My husband usually barbecued and I always received gifts but we really didn’t fuss over it like I was Queen for a Day. As my children got older actually we started a great tradition that we still do today. My son turns over my garden for me and my daughter buys flower plants and we plant the garden together. Then I can enjoy my Mother’s Day gift with them all summer and into the fall.
This year is my daughter’s first Mother’s Day and my first as a grandmother. I asked grandmothers at grandparents.com to share their thoughts with me about Mother’s Day and I was surprised that they are so similar to mine. Adult children reading this – take note: IT IS NOT ABOUT EXPENSIVE GIFTS, FANCY DINNERS, OR GUSHY GREETING CARDS.
Grandmothers are pretty much in agreement that our “parenting” days are over we are not expecting a big fuss over Mother’s Day. We are not interested in fancy dinners and overpriced greeting cards. We’d love to hear your voice, see our grandchildren and hope our daughters have a great day. Some grandmothers expressed concern about the over commercialization and waste associated with Mother’s Day and all said they’d prefer a simple celebration. I was glad to see that another grandmother sent her daughter an eCard as I did. My eCard – yes, it was a Hallmark – was personalized with a picture of my daughter and her son that my husband took. One grandmother who works in a department store said it was a pleasure seeing children enjoy choosing a special piece of jewelry for their mother on Mother’s Day. I identified with this because of my own experience. When my daughter was three year old, my husband took her shopping and together they chose a beautiful sapphire ring for me that is still my favorite. I wore it on Fran’s wedding day.
I don’t remember my first Mother’s Day as a mother but I am sure it was special at the time. I asked my daughter to provide some thoughts on her first Mother’s Day and she detailed every moment of the day. Josh pampered her for most of the day with breakfast and lunch, she visited her Mother-in-Law in the morning and came to our house for a dinner cooked by my husband. But the highlight of her day was this: Her husband took Zach (Now 11 months old) shopping and together they chose a necklace for her. It is quite beautiful and I know it will probably be a favorite for the rest of her life. Zach is quite a communicator and Josh tells how Zach let him know which one he liked. I can picture it because Zach sends his hands and feet flying in the cutest way when he is interested in something. Fran also noted that she had a day when she didn’t have to change a single diaper. That is really a big gift when you have an active 11 month old baby.
Interestingly enough, my daughter enjoyed the simple things of being with family and exempt from normal work chores. But...she also appreciated that special gift of a necklace that her son participated in choosing.
Celebrating Mother’s Day is different for Mothers and Grandmothers but there are a lot of similarities. Mothers who labor in the trenches as active parents everyday appreciate special attention and a thoughtful gift. Grandmothers – especially if they don’t see or hear from you often – would love some extra contact with their children and grandchildren. A telephone call is more appreciated than a Hallmark card. A visit is a Wow. In my case – that bit of garden labor is a gift that keeps giving and means more to me than my kids know.