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Remember the lady with eyes in the back of her head

Kathy Lilje • May 7, 2014 at 1:20 PM

Let’s talk gifts — specifically Mothers Day gifts. I know the florists, greeting card manufacturers, candy purveyors and jewelers count on our devotion to our moms to open up our wallets. And that’s fine.

But my recommendation to all who plan to buy mom a gift is to give some thought to who the recipient really is. Some momsmight appreciate time with their children instead of another knick knack. Out-of-town children might consider a phone call that doesn’t seem like an obligation call. You know what I mean. Some calls come on holidays and you just know you were part of someone’s to-do list. Phone providers experience the highest volume of calls on Mother’s Day.

It is so much better to get a phone call that turns out to be a real visit, full of reminiscing, laughter, a little sweetness and a little silliness. The sound of your child’s voice trumps a pre-printed greeting card any day.

But cards are good, too. My cookbooks have cards from my kids sprinkled throughout. Some of them have labored signatures from kindergarteners just learning to write. Others include the names of newlywed spouses, then later grandchildren.

I got the idea to put the cards in cookbooks from my own mother. She said if she put them in an album, or in a box somewhere, it was almost like throwing them away because she would rarely look at them. But between the pages of her favorite books, she was sure to come across them often and be warmed by their messages each time.

Speaking of cards, one year my sister and I both got the same card for Mom. We just said, “Great minds think alike”

But when we both bought the exact same card as we had the year before, we could hardly use the great minds thing. I mean, after all, how great could our minds be if we couldn’t remember from year to year that we had already bought that card.

Mom thought it was sweet and said we must really mean the nice message. Dad, on the other hand, asked me if we bought a whole box of the cards on sale and we were counting on Mom not remembering from year to year.

I’ve already received one of my presents. My daughter came over Sunday and cleaned my porch. This is no easy feat as we hadbeen storing ferns there all winter. Ferns are not the tidiest plants. She scrubbed, washed windows, vacuumed, exchanged winter decorations for spring ones and, in general, pleased me to no end. It is a great gift. And that’s what I mean about tailoring a gift to the recipient.

She knows what kind of doodads I like, but she also knows that I have more that enough of them and sitting on my porch with a good book is one of my greatest pleasures. And that’s just what I did last night. Thank you, Amanda.

See you next week. Be kind to each other, especially to your mom.

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