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Mother's Day Moments

Story 72


Another Mother’s day has come and gone.  The kids have been kind to me.  I got flowers and cards and saw each one at some point over the weekend.  As I think back about all those previous Mother’s Day tokens of affection I think of the gifts and cards and dinners and phone calls. It’s nice having a day that reminds the offspring to call their mother. 


This year Tom, Matt and I went out to buy flowers at my favorite store – Lowe’s.  As we strolled down one plant –lined aisle after another I found myself ooing and awing at the grasses, the bushes, and the bedding plants. I picked out an especially pretty rhododendron with deep pink flowers.  Matt watched Tom pick the healthiest of plants and then lift it onto a cart. Matt decided he would buy me flowers also.  “Do you want me to pick them out or do you want to do it?” I asked.  Matt has a history of stressing out when picking out gifts, preferring the receiver choose for him.  Yet, for the past several years Matt has really gotten into choosing for himself.  “I’ll do it.” He replied confidently.  I walked off in the opposite direction to give him time to think and decide on his own. 


I was admiring the ornamental grasses when Matt returned with an entire tray of plants.  The petunias I recognized right away. Petunias are Tom’s favorite flower and we buy them each spring for our deck.  The others were zinnias – a flower I have never had in a garden.  These were red and white and looked like sunbursts. “Oh, these are beautiful, thanks Matt”. His shoulders went back a bit, his head raised higher – Matt was obviously proud of his selection.


I transplanted the flowers into pots that afternoon.  I thought about Matt’s choice and admired my new zinnias. But something was bothering me. Matt always drew me a picture for Mother’s Day.  For as long as I can remember there has been a drawing – usually a cartoon of some sort – that has accompanied the card from Matt.  He always writes “happy mother’sday”, the date and a “love Matt” as his signature on each and every drawing he has given me.  I have collected them for almost 20 years and now I was receiving flowers instead.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my flowers, I love that Matt picked them out, and I especially love that they were a flower I had never had before, but it just didn’t feel like Mother’s Day without a cartoon from Matt.


Months earlier I had asked Matt what he was going to draw for me for this year’s Mother’s Day.  It came up as he was planning his summer events on the calendar. He looked at me and shrugged his shoulders – his way of asking me for a hint.  I looked up and on his wall he has a picture he took in his photography course of one of our cats.  “I would like a drawing of Toulouse”. He smiled and gave me a thumbs-up. We continued to talk about the coming summer and plans for each special day up to August. Now Mother’s Day had arrived and there was no drawing.  Had Matt forgotten?  Really?  Matt never forgets anything like that.  I was a bit disquieted by the whole thing.  Of course, I never let on to my curiosity or my disappointment and kept it to myself all day.


The weekend got busier and the other kids either stopped by or called.  We all had a wonderful time just enjoying each other’s company.  Before I knew it, it was getting dark and I was wearing down. Exhausted, I decided to hit the hay early – around 9:30pm.  I stopped by Matt’s room on my way to bed to give him a kiss goodnight.  He met me at the door.  I was so tired that I didn’t even notice he had something behind his back.  He gave me a wonderfully strong hug and immediately handed me the paper he had hidden behind him.  It was a cartoon drawing, completely colored, of Toulouse.  Written on the bottom was “happy mother’s day”, the date, and just below it, “love, Matt”.  Best gift of the day.



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