Wants for her Day
tell her how old/lame/unfair she’s being at least once a week.
The Stage II Mom would love a gift that focuses on spending a yesteryear-like day with her family: no squabbling, no video games and no grunting noises that pass for conversation.
Go out for a beautiful brunch with everyone showered, nicely dressed and smiling; or take a long hike at her favourite spot; or dig into takeaway Thai at home while watching an old family-favourite movie together.
Stage II moms also appreciate a fully washed car. We’re talking cleaning inside and out using elbow grease.
Other cool ideas for Stage II? One kid created a play list for her ipod. And one teen boy arranged to take his mom out to dinner.
She may be too choked up to respond to these gifts, but she will remember them for ever.
Stage 3: Well-rested, but pining for the days of yore
This woman has been through it all. She survived pregnancies and miscarriages, newborns, children with special needs, puberty and entire years of worrying about her ducklings living so far away at college.
That initial swath of time when her kids moved on? Brutal.
At this point a long nap, a beautifully scented bath or a good book won’t cut it. Very little soothes the grief that’s descended upon a Stage III Mom. She smiles at the exhaustion of Stage I or the exasperation of Stage II; she’d happily trade her grief for bloodshot eyes or gritted teeth.
The Stage III Mom misses the endless bickering that rumbled like thunder upstairs. She misses having to pull dinner out of her (um) hat every evening. For years. For a family who wouldn’t (couldn’t?) agree on a meal. Then one day the clouds clear over her empty nest, the sun shines on a sparkling landscape, and we find the Stage III Mom trying to decide between a cruise to Greece or Alaska.
This cruise will have zero animated characters, no five-storey waterslides and not one bumper car.
She settles on Greece, where she can’t wait to see the ruins up close; stunning remains of an ancient culture. Beauty and life survive.
So what to get this mom? She’d love a card detailing what’s new with you – the good and the not-so-hot. It tickles her to know that her little ducks are flying and crashing and getting up again and gliding over the water (while kicking for all they’re worth underneath). She’d love to hear that she’ll see you in December.
Knowing when she’ll see you next is sure-fire balm for that small, but permanent, ache in her heart.
And there you have it, what moms would love on the big day: get out of her hair (if the kids are little), spend time with her (if you’re a teen, but be sure to smile), and track her down in Greece (if you’re an adult).
Don’t forget her on Mother’s Day. Because she never forgets you every day. – The Washington Post
■ Irvine is a Stage II Mom who writes the 'Jellyfish in July' blog that details vital tips for kid-travel.