Recently, while texting with my oldest son, he asked, “Hey, what do you want for Mother’s Day?”
I shouldn’t really admit that I don’t like those kinds of questions, but the truth is I don’t. Maybe it’s because my love language isn’t gifts, or maybe it’s because I never know what to say. The most likely reason, however, is that deep down I always hope they already know what matters most to me.
What Matters Most
Obviously, what matters most varies from person to person. But by and large mothers, who focus the majority of their lives on developing good relationships with their children and willingly give up any possibility for real free time to teach and nurture their children, all agree on one thing: The power of the gift comes from the heart behind the gift, not the gift itself.
Since my son recently started his own family, I felt it was a good time to give him a gifts-to-Mom rule of thumb for the rest of his life.
This is what I texted back to my son:
“Well, I don’t usually make lists of things I want… As a general rule what I want is a deep display of the love my children have for me. This means a thoughtful or personal card is just as valuable as my favorite flowers, yard work service, a book I would enjoy, a new spring skirt, etc. Whatever shows me your love will always be what I want for Mother’s Day, or any other occasion for that matter.”
I don’t know if I made Mother’s Day harder or easier on my son. Hopefully he learned that money doesn’t make a good gift. He could even tell me what he wished he could get me and why, and I would feel his love more than if he actually spent too much money and purchased that item.
In the end, the thing that matters most in relationships is talking about the relationship. Holidays give us a chance to talk about what we love most about our relationships and a chance to give praise, acts of kindness, and love to those we most often take for granted. It’s strange that the people we most love are often the ones we seldom tell how much we love and appreciate.
I don’t know about your mother, but for me, words, actions or items of deep love are all I want. These gifts give me what money can’t buy; a reminder and rekindling of a relationship that is more important to me than any worldly possession.