I was born on my mother’s birthday, on a day late in April just a couple of weeks before Mother’s Day. These are occasions we continue to celebrate together.
What this means to my daughter is that within that time period she will create not just two but four cards to give her grandmother and me. And, for years, she has done just that.
From the time she was young, I would hear her voice coming from behind her closed bedroom door: “Don’t come in here!”
Next I would hear her opening and closing her desk drawer and shuffling through her collection of colored pencils and markers.
Sometimes, she would cut the birthday card in the shape of a multilayered cake. Other times, she would write in pens with sparkly ink, or use a different color for each letter. Blue, purple, pink, green, orange. On several occasions, she created acrostic poems.
She included in all of her messages to us words such as “amazing” and “awesome.” Never was there a shortage of exclamation points. Always, she hoped both my mother and I had the best day ever.
And, in signing these handmade cards, she often included the names of our pets along with her own, even the goldfish and two hermit crabs, Laverne and Shirley.
As a teenager she continues to design cards, and I save each one – a collection topped only by the accumulation of school-concert programs that tend to be the same size and end up in the same drawer.
In elementary school, she drew such a fun picture of our family that I placed an order to have them made into note cards. My waist in that picture is thinner than a pencil, but that’s not the only reason I love it so much.
On this Mother’s Day, I think about all these cards and also about how often the subject of motherhood has been in this column. I also think about how quickly the years pass, as people told me they would soon after our daughter was born.
I once wrote about how nervous I was when it was time for the training wheels to come off of her bicycle. Next year, she could be learning how to drive a car.
Back when she was in preschool, I wrote another column on the daily habits acquired by mothers of young children.
For example, you definitely know you are a mother when you 1) carry crayons in your purse; 2) tie double knots in everything, and 3) set a place at the table for your child’s imaginary friend.
While I no longer carry crayons in my purse, some things remain the same. I will visit my mother on Mother’s Day, as will my daughter, and I will laugh at how similar the two of them are in so many ways. Perhaps they will work together on a crossword puzzle. Or discuss the proper way to apply eyeliner. Or dive into the bowl of Hershey’s Kisses on the coffee table and leave the wrappers everywhere.
Then, after my mother has read and reread the latest homemade card, my daughter will place it on the fireplace mantel just as she has done in previous years. It will remain there for weeks, possibly months, before my mother moves it to safe storage in a dresser drawer, where she will pull it out on occasion.
So Happy Mother’s Day. Hope it is amazing. Awesome. The best day ever.