When my parents moved to Mangalore way back in 2000, I began saying 'love you' at the end of each conversation I had on the phone with them. My family is of the 'she knows that I love her, we don’t do that in our family' persuasion; no unnecessary hugging or kissing and certainly no spoken 'I love you's. Kevin’s family, on the other hand, is an embracing one. My mom-in-law will squeeze me till my ribs threaten to break (and for those of you who know my insulating layers, that is a lot of squeezing) and his sister Cheryl will kiss me each time I arrive and leave for the day. When I first married into the family, I found it different; now, I would miss it if it didn’t happen. I’ve learnt from that that you can never show affection too much – and with my recent spate of losing people, I wouldn’t dare miss an opportunity. So, to Mummy, Dad, Mohan, Kevin and Zach, I always say 'love you' with each phone call. Their responses respectively, if you would like to know:
Mom: Yes darling!
Mom: Yes darling!
Mohan: Love you too!
Kevin: Yes (it means: I’m in a meeting)
Zach: Love you Mama (ending on an appropriately high note)
If you don’t say it, bite the bullet. Or, as they say often in my office, grow a pair.
It’s Mother’s Day on May 13 (also the day Zach returns from his Manali camp and life gets back to its usual tenor). It’s Wednesday today. Which means you have four clear days to do something about making the day special for your mom. Don’t hide behind the 'It’s a marketing ploy to make us buy a whole lot of useless gifts' excuse; it’s not, btw: it has Christian origins as Mothering Sunday, when young people in service were given the day off to go back to their 'mother' church for a special service, and so also had a chance to visit their mothers. Think instead of the fact that, however nonchalant she may seem about it, your mom would feel a little sad if you did nothing special on a day when the whole world celebrates motherhood. And special could be something as simple as a phone call, a card, a dinner, or – push the boat out – a gift.
And for all you married folk out there, a mother-in-law is also a mom.
Just a few links to help you get a move on:
The nice printable from Colour Me There; there are boy and girl versions.
A straightforward watercolour card to print from How About Orange?
The 'Home is where your mom is' printable from Holiday Snob
And the cheeky Winnie the Pooh printable card from I Could Use A Deal.