When a woman becomes a mother, something changes in her DNA. Where once she might have looked askance on macaroni necklaces and bouquets of dandelions, suddenly these childish offerings become beautiful in her eyes.
My mother received many such gifts. What I lacked in artistic abilities, I made up in quantity. Drawings of “roses” made of interlocked squiggles, creations made of wooden pieces glued together by unskilled hands, and flowers picked from the yard were greeted with equal delight.
Somewhere around the age of eight or nine, my creativity turned to the written word. I pumped out stories featuring my family as detectives (yes, I was enamored with Nancy Drew at the time). While sorting through the garage recently, I discovered one of these “masterpieces.” My internal editor cringed, but my mother had always received my stories with excitement.
Recently I was on the phone with my sister when she received a precious gift from her son. This lovely, um, thing had been created with toilet paper and hand soap. No word on the actual purpose of the what’s-it, but my sister feigned delight and counted down the seconds before she could safely dispose of the gift.
My nephew is also the king of concoctions (see below). He recently created a “surprise” by floating chips in a bowl of water with orange segments and bananas. Another creation mixed applesauce, lettuce, ranch dressing, and oranges. His aunt’s stomach is churning, yet when a gift is offered in love, magic happens. The bizarre and peculiar transforms into beautiful and precious in mommy’s eyes.
I no longer give my mother creations of glitter and construction paper. Now, I buy her hanging plants for her front porch for Mother’s Day. But she is still the first person to read my books and now receives scribbled drawings and strange gifts from her grandchildren — with exclamations of delight.
So thank you, Lord, for mothers.
After all, someone has to wear those macaroni necklaces.
What’s the strangest gift you gave your mother or received from your child?