What Did Your Mothers’ Day Gift Say About You?

Every year the kids bring home Mother’s Day mementos that have been created with the thoughtful guidance of their teachers. It’s  usually a compilation of drawings or quotes from each child in the class on topics such as, “I love my mom because…” or, “My favorite memory of my mom is…”

There’s a reason there was a hit show called “Kids Say the Darndest Things.” I can’t be the only mom holding my breath as my kid stands up to announce some intimate fact about me over Muffins with Mom. The teacher has screened this, right? Will she allow me a rebuttal, or at least an explanation for why my kid loves me because I take him “to apartments to swim?”*

These exercises have provided valuable insight on how my kids see me. One year I learned that my favorite color is black because I “wear it all the time” On that particular ride home, I lectured about the virtues of basic black and its ability to hide stains, hence my black purse, shoes, and many black suits and pants. (Then I was scared to think that maybe I would only to have myself to blame when they dyed their hair and went Goth in a few years.)

Another year I learned that my favorite food is coffee and my favorite thing to do is work on the computer. During that ride home I explained “work” and how things that didn’t get done during the day sometimes had to get done in the evenings. (I let the coffee comment slide. Any adult knows that coffee is not a favorite food but rather a legal stimulant that is endorsed and, some would say, actively pushed by the corporate culture.)

This year I escaped with a mild rebuke in the Mother’s Day classroom recipe book: “I love my mom because she… (insert a short list of positives here)…and almost never screams.” Obviously, the exception proves the rule. I acknowledge my occasional screaming fits. Hasn’t motherhood done this to anyone else?

Oh, how the teachers must chuckle at the kids’ responses as they type them up for publication or stand over the copier. Do they take a moment to revel in the power that wield on these occasions? Do they do us favors by insisting that the kids think of a favorite dish mom makes other than frozen fish sticks?

Maybe the teachers are just as anxious as us moms when our kids stand up to pay tribute.

*I feel compelled to offer an explanation. When my sister lived in town we visited her at her apartment pool and went swimming. She moved to another apartment, so we visted her there as well. However, the Mother’s Day poster my child created (which was displayed in the school hallway for two weeks) simply said I took them “to apartments to swim.” Wonder what the other parents thought of all my pool loitering?