I never know what surprises await me on Mother’s day. Nothing makes you feel more loved than when your husband, who hates shopping, drags the kids with him to go shopping for you. This year, predictably, on the day before Mother’s Day, I heard supposedly whispered arguments of “Why do I have to go if you already know?…”
In our house, gifts are usually surprises due to my husband’s conviction that to give someone what they’ve been hinting for is to ruin the celebration. He collects hints, although I suspect it’s only to get a handle on what I might be expecting, so he can surprise me. Once, when I hinted really big that I wanted jewelry, I got a trip to Burger King (We were living in Germany, so it was a little better than it sounds.) instead. Two days later I found a sapphire necklace draped over a Pepsi bottle in the pantry. Surrr-prise.
This year on Mother’s Day I tried to circumvent this process. Not because I was feeling greedy, but because even my husband, near saint that he is, could not be expected to know what I wanted. Really, what husband should know that their wife of 20 years has suddenly developed a yearning to be the adopter of a rehabilitating Sea Turtle from the Jekyll Island Sea Life Center? That’s pretty darned specific. (Their adoption program is pretty cool. If your rehabilitated sea turtle gets released with a GPS device, you’ll get email updates with his locations, which brings a whole new slant on “Where in the world is Waldo?”) I’d been dropping hints to my 15- and 12-year old boys, thinking they’d be all over the buy-via-internet-and-not-go-shopping idea.
Sunday morning, I didn’t have to see any gifts to know where they’d shopped. It wasn’t the internet. Since both boys had new shorts to wear to church and my younger son also had a new shirt that couldn’t be worn without washing because it still “smells like the store” (I’d describe it more like I imagine it smells like in a place in which you didn’t want to admit you played piano), I knew they’d been to Kohl’s and Hollister.
I received beautiful material gifts and they pampered me all day. Don’t tell him I said this, but my husband, again the near Saint, got it right. He’s not teaching them to give a girl the gift of her dreams. He’s teaching them to love.
Now I’m going to have to top that on Father’s Day. Wonder how he’d feel about a Sea Turtle?
© Laura Hedgecock 2009