For Mother’s Day, I never know what I’m gonna get. When they were younger, I was disappointed when they did not make any effort at all to show their appreciation and I told them so. I mean, no point feeling upset and unappreciated when the poor kids didn’t even know what happened right?
As a result, they got creative and prepared me an awesome ‘breakfast in bed’ service. They poured milk and cornflakes and placed some cookies on a tray. Of course, the loveliness lasted all of 15 minutes and after that it was back to settling squabbles and mopping up messes.
As they grew up, the girls planned elaborate efforts like hanging streamers from the ceiling which they got the younger ones to help colour in.
Now that they are older, I receive real gifts. Yup, store bought stuff like blouses, t-shirts, and dresses. Maybe my teenagers are trying to tell me something…
I have long stopped reminding them that “It’s Mother’s Day this weekend”, as I’d rather they do something from their heart instead of doing it out of duty. So every year, I get surprised. Some years, they don’t do ANYTHING. Ok, well, some of them. Luckily I have 6, so at least 1 or 2 will ‘remember’ me.
This year, I got one stalk of beautiful red rose, 2 cards and 2 drawings.
#5 drew me a lovely picture and helped Kate draw one too by guiding her hand.
But I was truly, truly surprised to find a proper card from #1.
Let me share with you a bit of what she wrote:
YOU ARE A PRETTY COOL MUM. I AM PROUD.
(hey, pause. For a 16-year old to describe her mum as cool is really something. Just a couple of years back when they started entering the teen phase, they thought I was pretty un-cool.)
Thank you for giving me the chance to develop my interests.
Thank you for always having faith in me.
Thanks for letting me be independent.
Thank you for supporting all my concerts.
Thank you for being so chill.
And hear this:
I REALLY THINK YOU HAVE A NICE BLOG.
(Yay! From my very critical teenager, that means a lot).
She ended her card with:
Sorry for my bad grades and thanks for trying to help pull them up. I will work hard from now on.
(I could cry. Isn’t that what every mum wants? For their kids to acknowledge their mistakes and try harder next time?)
So. I was really happy. Not laughing happy, but deep down happy. Because I know she has come to her senses. She was not an easy child to raise during the teenage years. But I know it will get better moving forwards.
You know, it is easy for little kids to tell you nice things. “Mum, you are so pretty, your food is nice, I love you, I love you, I love youuuuu!”
As they grow into pre-teens, they are balancing between telling the truth and learning not to hurt people’s feelings.
Thus it becomes: “Mum, you look nice in that dress, but your arms are fat.”
(Er, ok. I’ve learnt not to get angry and to turn their comments into constructive criticism).
Subsequently, when they grow into teenagers, they don’t say much.
So to receive an utterly sincere and honest letter from my 16-year old is something I will treasure for a long time to come.
Tomorrow we have Karen, a mum to 2 wonderful children, who muses over at Mum’s calling. She believes it is almost every woman’s calling to be a Mum. While fulfilling hers, she finds the journey truly rewarding and enjoyable. She is convinced that Motherhood is life changing and full of surprises.