Lay­ing my Mother’s Day cards on the table

Record Observer - - Religion -

I am not one given over to gam­bling un­less you call life a gam­ble and then all bets are off. I do not even play the lottery be­cause I would end up pay­ing out $1,987.14 in or­der to win $10. I have a dif­fi­cult time part­ing with my money be­cause I am a Penn­syl­va­nia Dutch­man; at least that is my ex­cuse.

That be­ing said, there is only one area of my life where I in­dulge in a cer­tain amount of gam­bling. That area is Mother’s Day cards. I am at a com­plete loss when it comes to this and knows not what I doeth.

Now part of my quandary is in the loose in­ter­pre­ta­tion of Mother’s Day. When we cel­e­brate Mother’s Day, who in the world are we cel­e­brat­ing?

I can re­mem­ber when the Gra­cious Mis­tress of the Par­son­age and Yours Truly were first mar­ried. It was so long ago that I do not have enough fin­gers or toes to count it. When we were first mar­ried, we bought two Mother’s Day cards; one for her mother and one for my mother. Oh, how I long for those sim­ple days.

A lit­tle over a year after we were mar­ried a lit­tle tyke came into our lowly domi­cile. Our first daugh­ter was born in the month of Au­gust and I re­ally did not un­der­stand the sig­nif­i­cance of it un­til the fol­low­ing Mother’s Day.

That year we had to buy three Mother’s Day cards; one for my wife’s mother, one for my mother and one for my daugh­ter to give to her mother.

Now what I want to know is how in the world was I roped into buy­ing a Mother’s Day card for my wife? After all, she is not my mother. And I do not know how many times I have re­minded her of that ver y fact.

I was conned into buy­ing that Mother’s Day card for my wife by think­ing that I was buy­ing it for my daugh­ter to give to her mother. I am not sure I am buy­ing that story. I bought the card, all right, and when I gave it to my daugh­ter; she im­me­di­ately put it in her mouth. She had no idea what in the world a Mother’s Day card was.

Sev­eral years later, we had a new ad­di­tion to our fam­ily. Our son was born.

Now I have more Mother’s Day cards to buy. One for my mother, one for my wife’s mother, one for my daugh­ter to give to her mother and one for my son to give to his mother. These Mother’s Day cards are get­ting to be rather ex­pen­sive.

You will not be­lieve this, but a few years later, a third child be­came a mem­ber of our fam­ily. Our se­cond daugh­ter was born. And you guessed it; my Mother’s Day card buy­ing went up.

Now I need to buy a Mother’s Day card for my mother, one for my wife’s mother, one for my first daugh­ter to give to her mother, one for my son to give to his mother and one for my se­cond daugh­ter to give to her mother.

I once sug­gested that I buy one Mother’s Day card for my three chil­dren to give to their mother. I was quickly and soundly out­voted on that is­sue. And so, I be­gin sav­ing up my al­lowance right after Christ­mas for my Mother’s Day card ex­trav­a­ganza.

If this was not bad enough, each Mother’s Day card has to be specif­i­cally cho­sen in re­spect to the per­son who is giv­ing it. That per­son, not be­ing me. How many times and how many dif­fer­ent ways can you say “Happy Mother’s Day?”

I thought I had reached the height of my Mother’s Day card pur­chas­ing, but then in a few years it took on a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive.

Not only was I to buy all of these Mother’s Day cards, but I was to take the re­spec­tive chil­dren along with me and al­low them to per­son­ally pick out the card they wanted to give to their mother. And of course, their mother could not be along to su­per­vise these pur­chases. Tak­ing two tod­dlers and one semi-tod­dler into a store to se­lect ap­pro­pri­ate Mother’s Day cards is as close as I have ever come to gam­bling away my for­tune.

Be­tween the three of them, they had each boiled down their choice to 97 cards. Of course the youngest just grabbed as many as she pos­si­bly could. The two old­est had to look at each card and dis­cuss the contents, mean­ing of course, I had to read each card to them. Not once, but over and over again.

Look­ing back on that time I re­al­ize that my chil­dren had an in­ge­nious strat­egy all worked out. After four hours of go­ing through all of these cards I would say to them, “If you pick a card right now I’ll take you all to get some ice cream.”

Now, those chil­dren are all grown up and mar­ried which has added to my long list of Mother’s Day card pur­chases.

Solomon had it right when he wrote, “Many daugh­ters have done vir­tu­ously, but thou ex­cellest them all. Favour is de­ceit­ful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised” (Proverbs 31:2930 KJV).

Of all the thou­sands of Mother’s Day cards I have pur­chased through­out the years, I must hon­estly con­fess they have all been worth it.

The Rev. James L. Sny­der is pas­tor of the Fam­ily of God Fel­low­ship, in Sil­ver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-6874240 or email jamess­ny­ The church web­site is www.whatafel­low­

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