Friday, August 24, 2012

Mother's Day for Motherless Children

You remember Mother's Day as a young child in school, right? Whether you dipped your hands in green, blue, or yellow paint and stamped them on the front of a piece of construction paper or you bedazzled a tiny terracotta pot with beads and sequence before filling the pot with soil and planting a flower seed, your elementary school teacher had some crafty gift plan for Mother's Day. Heck, I fondly remember decorating an emptied and washed juice concentrate can with coarse brown twine to make a pencil holder for my mother one year a few decades ago.

For Motherless Children, I think, the annual Mother’s Day craft is a somewhat different experience.

On each of the previous Mother’s Days since my children lost their mother more than seven years ago, my children had always made their Mother’s Day cards and gifts for a close female friend of the family or for their dad, who appreciated them in a very unique way. My daughters are older now and no longer use construction paper and blunt scissors to make Mother’s Day cards, but this year my second grade son changed things up. He made a Mother’s Day card for his . . . Mom.

Recently, the kids and I made our summer visit to the Midwest and to the historic river city where his mother and I grew up. My daughters and son reconnected with their grandparents and many of their cousins, aunts, and uncles while enjoying a markedly more tranquil atmosphere. My daughters spent some very special time their mother’s sister and her family, while the The Favorite Son and I spent some great “guy time,” which included, among others things, a number of waterpark visits and a lot of chicken wings and darts at his Great Uncle Jimmy’s restaurant.

One day near the end of our trip, the boy and I stopped at a local hardware store and picked up some duct tape. The two of us continued on to St. Charles Memorial Gardens, where, after parking the car and making the short walk, I tore off a couple of pieces of the tape and placed them on the back of a laminated card. I handed the card back. Then, for the first time in eight years, my son gave his mom the Mother’s Day card he made at school.