Wednesday, May 2, 2012
The Mother's Day Gift
Everyday I pick my son up from preschool/daycare and am presented with THE FOLDER. The folder contains within it a variety of items, none which I find important. It has half colored coloring pages, various crafts, like elephants with 7 googly eyes and 3 pom poms glued to it, cafeteria IOUs, long itemized daycare cost bills and a rock or two he found on the playground. Also, there is an occasional "written warning". I especially disregard those. Usually I collect the folder contents and bring them to my car, where they become carbage, laying on the passenger side floor until the point where another adult needs to ride in my car and I peel them from the carpet and throw them away. I am not sure what other parents do with this constant bombardment of worksheets, but one can only collect so many pictures of bumblebees dancing around daisies that have two petals colored in or the letter B written 12 times. Perhaps I need to be more grateful of the care my son gets or excited about the tiny accomplishments he makes in his education. Or perhaps we should all save a tree and ax the folder.
When I arrived to pick him up yesterday, the teacher excitedly yelled to Zephyr, "Don't forget to give mom her gift!" I looked next to the folders and saw a brown paper bag with my son's name carefully drawn across the front. "Remember, she can't open it until Mother's Day!" I smiled and took the bag, looking down at my son, pretending I'd never been so thrilled. I knew that in the bag was some trinket I would be forced to display and cherish for several hours until I could hopefully sneak it into the garbage. It would possibly be something, glued to a magnet and it would end up on my kitchen floor, stuck in strawberry jelly, until the construction paper became permanently attached to the linoleum. It was the type of thing we would ignore as it stuck to our feet, never bending down to pick it up. It would be the type of floor garbage that would be trafficked room to room, until Mr. Perfect came over and bent over, gave me that "you're filthy" look, and threw the damned thing away. I didn't have very high expectations for the paper bag. After all, I've been mothering for 11 years now. Homemade cards are cute, but for gifts I want a massage and a day where people leave me alone.
We got in the car and I ripped open the bag. There was no way I was going to wait two weeks. Who knew where the bag would even end up in two weeks. For Christ's sake, I'm a single, working mom of 2, with no family in a 40 mile radius. I gave up organization in hopes of getting some sleep a couple years ago. Whatever was in the bag would not survive a two week wait. So, I tore that shit open. And inside I found......
THE BEST GIFT EVER.
It was ceramic travel mug. With leak proof lid. And on the side it said:
"I love my mom cuz she gives me sweet good kisses at night." Which IS, the most romantic thing I've ever heard. On the other side was a lovely, pink handprint and a gorgeous likeness of myself. It was durable, usable, microwaveable and assisted in the deliverance of caffeine to my face. Plus, I knew it would look fabulous on my desk and make all my co-workers jealous. I loved it. I screamed with delight as I threw the crumpled up brown bag on the passenger's side floor of my car. I told my son how it was the best gift EVER. I went to pick up my daughter and as soon as she got in the car I showed her my BEST GIFT EVER. She scowled at me, remembering the 4 inch rhinestone, "mom" necklace on a metallic lead chain she bought me, with my money, from her secret santa shop 2 years ago. Yes, this even trumped that. "Zephyr wins!" I exclaimed to the children as if I had been waiting my whole life for this mug.
So good job preschool teachers, wherever you are. Good job, I will even pay my bill. And to my kids, a little competition never hurt anyone. So, with Mother's Day quickly approaching, I can't wait to see what they get me. I opened this early, so it doesn't count.