A Dad’s Mom Lessons

Every year since our kids were born, I have stressed to make sure that Mother’s Day went just right. To me, Mother’s Day should be celebrated every day of the year because what they do for their children and families cannot possibly be recognized in a single day. Of course, if it were celebrated every day, it would kill me.

My own mother and mother-in-law aside, I had to make sure that our kids recognized their own mother on this special day. Certainly when they’re young it’s obvious that gifts, cards and flowers were the fruits of my labor but from the kids. Mothers being who they are will always say not to do anything special or make a fuss.

If I took that at face value then my life would be easy, but we owe it to these women to make an effort and do something special to recognize all that they do for the family. So I would shop for the kids, wrap the gifts, select an appropriate card or arrange for flower deliveries. Again, “from the kids.”

This year, however, something strange happened. I received a call from our 25-year-old son attending graduate school on the West coast. It was a week before Mother’s Day. “Dad, I just wanted you to know that you don’t have to remind me to send a card or call mom on Mother’s Day. I’m totally on top of it.” This was music to my ears.

Then our 16-year-old daughter told me that after school every day she was going to a shop to make her mother a hand-made ceramic flower vase for Mother’s Day. She also told me that she planned to make breakfast and a dessert item for a brunch get-together and that I didn’t have to do anything, that she had it covered.

It suddenly hit me that our kids were no longer dependent on their old dad to make sure they acted appropriately on these kinds of occasions. While that’s a great thing, it left me kind of sad they no longer needed me for that.

Our daughter planned and made all the arrangements for us to go out to dinner that evening. As we entered the restaurant, she pulled me aside and said, “Dad, you can pay for this, right?”

I just smiled and thought, “My kids – they still need me!”