Wants for her Day

Saturday Star - - NEWS -

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.

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