You can always tell when Mother’s Day is approaching because retailers make it impossible to enter the store without running face first into a display of flowers and tank tops that say things like mama needs coffee. Hallmark steps up their advertising game, too. I know because all of the sudden some of my favorite Instagrammers story on and on about gifts I suspect aren’t artisan enough to give their own mamas. Sellers of all different wares would have you believe that your mom needs another clever statement mug or initial necklace or spa day. I suppose she probably could use a spa day but that’s beside the point.
The point is that your mom certainly doesn’t need any of those things and most of the things she really wants are a whole lot simpler to give.
So, what does your mom — what does every mom ever — want for Mother’s Day?
She wants to open the dishwasher just once and find all the things lined up the way they are supposed to be.
She wants you to kindly remove the soccer jersey that you wore (and wore and wore and wore) in the soccer tournament last weekend from the backseat of her car.
She wants someone, somewhere to pass a law which prevents the delivery of stupid junk mail that is going to pile up on the kitchen counter until she has time to recycle it.
She wants a go-to babysitter. Who drives.
She wants to loudly sing along to 80’s songs by Paula Abdul and NKOTB without you rolling your eyes and inserting your earbuds.
She wants to successfully make it through the parent pick up line without being caught in her pajamas. Speaking of pajamas, she wants to spend the whole weekend every weekend wearing them.
She wants Rosé (or, you know, a tall glass of bubbly) to be offered right alongside the sherbet punch in the lobby before your dance recital.
She wants someone — anyone — else to pick up and throw away that wretched scrap of paper or ginormous dust bunny or whatever else it is on the floor in the hallway that every single person in the house has most definitely passed by and ignored approximately eighty-seven times just this week.
She wants you to unblock her on Instagram.
She wants you to respond to the question, how was your day with something more than a shrug and mumbled fine. And while you’re at it, she wants to talk while she’s driving you to the places you need to be so just. stop. texting.
She wants you to remember to wear sunscreen, turn your volume down, and floss without being nagged.
She wants softball or soccer or football or fill-in-the-blank practice to get rained out.
She wants people to stop telling her she looks tired.
She wants to shop for comfortable shoes without having to buy brands with names like Easy Street that make her feel like a geriatric shopper.
She wants all the people she knows in the grocery store to see her coming first and quickly turn away like they never saw her so that she doesn’t have to be the one to feel like a jerk.
She wants to look really, really good in yoga pants.
She wants Alexa to come equipped with a kick-A ‘make dinner’ skill.
She wants a really cute picture of just you and her for her desk at work but she’s always the one behind the camera.
She kinda wants you to graduate with honors but if not, she wants you to acquire a taste for accomplishment in your successes both big and small.
She wants you to come clean when she gives you the opportunity to redeem yourself after a lie.
She wants to overhear you sticking up for your sibling.
She wants to let you fail in the little things so that you won’t in the big things.
She wants you to take on challenges and be graceful no matter the outcome.
She wants to save you from hurts but she knows that all sorts of different hurts will make you stronger.
She wants you to love Jesus.
And when the time comes for you to grow and go, she wants you to think back and see with forgiving eyes the mistakes she made and know that it wasn’t for lack of trying. She wants you to consider the sacrifices and effort and intent and she wants you to reserve a little corner of your heart where gratitude for those things can quietly reside for all the days to come.
She wants to be the best mom ever.
But at the very least, she wants you to think she was.