Mothers Day – Cartoon Illustrator
In the supermarket we were met by a wall of rosebud patterns and “I love you” text. Leftover Valentines? ‘Mother’ read the ornately scripted greetings.
“Oh, I’d forgotten,” confessed daughter, quickly scooting past the celebratory cards. Was she guiltily going to get me something? I stopped to browse. The floral designs are appropriate for my own mum who’s an avid gardener. However, finding an apt best wish or meaningful verse to convey how much she means is the challenge.
I want to say “Thank you for everything you’ve done for me, for being there, listening to my woes and offering help in times of need. Bad enough to rear your first lot, you occasionally get landed with a second bunch – my kids. Thanks for those years of putting up with our tantrums, providing free food and babysitting.” How can you concisely convey all that? A sentimental rhyme in a flowery card just doesn’t cut it.
Finding the right gift, something that says “You’re the greatest” or that you know the recipient will really like can be problematic. Pot plants and garden shears might seem too mundane, although my mother has graciously accepted these in the past. Kitchen appliances are useful but generally don’t convey that ‘put your feet up and take it easy” pampered feeling that mums love to get on their special day.
Personally, I think it’s a good idea to encourage kids to think of their parents and part with pocket money for a small gift. Even if it’s only a few cents for a bar of chocolate, it’s good for them to think of others. The day may come when old mum and dad need a helping hand from their adult children. After a lifetime of sacrifice it’s a bitter blow if a parent is left to languish home alone or in hospital. Elderly parents can be forgotten by offspring too busy with their own affairs or who couldn’t be bothered to visit. Sadly, the Christian ethos of “honour thy father and thy mother” is not always acted upon.
I’m not averse to dropping a few hints myself, like “Mother’s Day next Sunday? I’d love a pair of slippers.” To be honest, I’d be happy if they did the wash-up or handed me a cup of tea, for sometimes, unsubtle prompting can backfire. Last year Junior presented me with a prickly cactus. Daughter bought chocolates; and bigger brother? A DVD – great! I couldn’t wait to chill out with a watchable chick flick and tore off the wrapping. “Jaws!” I yelped, my jaw dropping. “Is this how you see me?” “I thought you’d like it,” he sniggered. They chomped through my chocolates as the killer shark chewed up unsuspecting swimmers –while I made my own tea.
I may not receive the fluffy footwear and might resort to the usual floral gifts for Mum? No – this year I’ll do her a personalised caricature. Whatever we get it’s the thought that counts!
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Maeve O’Keeffe, the Frazzled Mammy! ©Maeve O’Keeffe 2015
Maeve O’Keeffe is a Cartoonist, Illustrator and Journalist in Cork, Ireland