"What do you like for Mother's Day, Mama?" asked the ten year old a few weeks ago.
I like her spirit: in addition to what she likes to do for me, she always asks what I'd like, and tries to accommodate my likes.
Being a compulsive list-maker, there is a running Wish List handy at home, to which I keep adding items that catch my fancy, and occasionally remove some that no longer interest me.
So, I printed out about 10 things that would be nice to do/have for Mother's Day and stuck it on the fridge, not expecting any of them to be fulfilled, if at all. Some were homemade gifts like sugar scrub, others were store-bought utility items for the kitchen like the much-needed wooden cutting board to replace the broken one.
I've noticed that if I am not specific, the Other Half does not waste time finding ways to surprise me with "things". Not because he is lazy, but because I am difficult. Notoriously difficult - in terms of others splurging on me or going to too much trouble for me. I actively discourage such generosity sometimes, much to the annoyance of near and dear. No fancy jewelry or purse or shoes or outfits for me. I have a minimal wardrobe and when I need to replace something, I find it myself at the price I am willing to pay for it.
However, I am rather easy to please. Handmade things and Simple gestures make me wildly, tearfully grateful.
Anyway, as the little girl and I love to get our fill of eye-candy from Pinterest, we had pored over Mason Jar Gift Ideas a while back. So, one of my Wish List items was a mason jar gift with things I'd like. Not stuffed with candy and junk, but things that I would truly enjoy using. And I was quite thrilled with what the ten year old gave me:
Not only did she throw together decaf & herbal teas, candles, lip balm and soap, she also sewed a rice bag microwaveable heating pad with grey fleece outer covering to remind me of our soft fluffy kitty.
Plus, attached coupons that she created with Picmonkey. No cooking for a whole weekend! No dishes for a week!! 15 minute Foot Massage!!! I was smiling away just thinking about using these coupons soon. Oh, and there was also a coupon for a dessert of my choice and a coupon to go watch a movie of my choice!
And, while it was not a total surprise, it was not on my Wish List either. The evening before, I was asked to disappear for an hour or so and leave her alone in the kitchen. Which I did, after I asked Papa to keep an eye on the proceedings. That's how I knew something's cooking. I woke up to a plateful of homemade chocolate covered strawberries, some of them sitting in a chocolate cup.
Coupons are a big thing this year. Kids got some for Valentine's Day and their Birthdays. So, making some coupons for Mama would be an easy gift that she'll love, right?
The seven year old (who needs to work on his handwriting) made these 4 coupons for me: "Free massage", "Free food", "Free nap", and "Free all three"!! I keeled over laughing, much to his puzzlement. "What, Mama? Why are you laughing? You like food and nap, right? What's so funny about the coupons? I made them just for you!"
The highlight was the 10-mile hike. Yes, Ten Miles roundtrip! This was on my Wish List, of course. We climbed the Tom, Dick & Harry mountain - a slightly steep uphill climb of about 5 miles with elevation gain of 1700 feet. The stop at the Mirror Lake along the way was wonderful. The views were breathtaking. The climb was a bit brutal for the 7 year old but he managed fine. The whole roundtrip including stops for views and pictures took us 4 hours, four amazing hours of being one with nature and forgetting everything else.
Not that we don't hike otherwise or find ways to appreciate each other otherwise, but, it was nice to sit back and enjoy the experience on a dedicated day. Of course, I called my mom and chatted with her. Talked to my mum-in-law as well. And hugged and squished the kids a zillion times like I do on most days, even if the drill sergeant in me is ready to burst forth any minute.