Thank Your Mother for Your Birthday
Every year that my friend Rochelle celebrates her birthday, she gives her mother a gift. Why? Well, why not?
Motherhood is usually a thankless job, so a little token of appreciation makes perfect sense, even if a mom has to wait until her child is a grownup to receive a present. When Rochelle blows out her birthday candles on her cake, she’s not thinking about herself. She’s thinking about her mother Judy who endured labor without an epidural, which doesn’t come close to the pain she suffered raising a teenager.
This birthday gift-back is a mother-daughter tradition that began after Rochelle’s first son Jeremy was born 14 years ago. It’s a special way for Rochelle to say thanks to her mom for allowing her to experience the wonders of motherhood, including swollen feet during pregnancy, sleepless nights with a newborn, and prematurely gray hair over math homework. Mostly, it’s a special way to say, “Mom, I love you.”
“Here’s a woman who gave birth to me and raised me, and that’s an amazing gift,” realizes Rochelle, who also has a daughter Sydney, 13, and son Ethan, 10, so she knows what she’s talking about. “When I became a mom I realized how much my mom did for me and how hard of a job being a mom really is.”
This act of kindness is not about the gift anyway; it’s the thought that counts. “I like to give my mom a little tsatske that reminds us of something we both enjoy, like a book, picture frame, coffee mug, clothing, or a pretty vase from an art show,” says Rochelle, who also writes her mom a personal note that makes them both cry like they’ve watched the movie “Terms of Endearment” on cable television again.
Her mom’s favorite gift is a refrigerator magnet that says, “If I didn’t have you as my mother I would have you as my friend.” Awwww, women love that mushy stuff.
“Our relationship has grown stronger since I’ve become a mom, and now we share so much in common, including hysterectomies and a love of chocolate. As my daughter gets older, I hope that we have the same close relationship as my mom and I.”
Indeed, mothers and daughters have a special bond, must be the estrogen. Even though my daughter Sari is only 10, I already feel like we’re intuitively connected. Often I know what she’s thinking before she says a word. When she stares blankly at her closet full of clothes and can’t find a thing to wear, I understand. When she blames the dryer for shrinking her jeans instead of the hot fudge sundae she at the night before, I feel her pain. When it takes her a half hour to pick out liquid body soap because she has to smell all the flavors like she’s going to eat them for dinner, I wait patiently. And when her daddy says he likes her outfit but he really doesn’t, she sees right through her old man just like I can.
Indeed having a daughter is a gift, and I feel blessed that Sari and I already wear the same size shoes. Remember the saying, “A daughter is your daughter for life. A son is your son until he finds a wife…” (and she’s never good enough for him anyway).
If you have a heartwarming relationship with your mother or daughter, share your story with the world. You can submit your entry now to “Chicken Soup for the Mother & Daughter Soul” by going to www.chickensoup.com. Your mamalah will thank you.
“Mishegas of Motherhood” is the creation of Ellie S. Grossman, a St. Louis freelance writer and stay-at-home-mom who never stays home. Visit her website at www.mishegasofmotherhood.com.