like when my friend gave me "Happy Due Date" Flowers when baby #4 was staying put and another friend who sent a card with kind words and coupons I needed.
or like when my husband brought me that cinnamon muffin from The Kettle in Enumclaw when I thought he was just going to renew our license plates.
or like when Seth (age 4 1/2) brings me dandelions from the yard.
or when Korynne (age 3 1/2) offers to wipe off the table.
These are not extravagant gestures, but they indicate to me that I am special or important or at least thought of by people that I care about.
So when Hallmark holidays (like Valentine's Day or Mother's Day) roll around, it's nigh impossible for me to put my expectations asunder. I have them. I try so hard not to. I would love for my husband to make breakfast and bring it to me in bed with a flower and something shiny in a blue box.
But I'm not a movie star and my life is not on the big screen. My life is pretty average. Sure, we have a lot of small children and that sort of makes us stand out at the grocery store, but otherwise I am not extraordinary... to you or the general public. I would however, like to be occasionally regarded by my family and those closest to me. I want them to know me well enough to know that I like flowers for my garden, I like good chocolate, and I have all the kitchen gadgets I need (and any more I need I'll get at Fred Meyer's bogo sale this week). I want them to know that a quiet afternoon in my own home is a gift, someone else doing the dishes does not go unnoticed, and that the floor does need to be vacuumed... again.
So what am I waxing philosophically about? Well, our culture sets up unrealistic expectations. Seriously... did anyone get breakfast in bed and a little blue box on Mother's Day... or any other day for that matter? Why do I, as a stay at home Mom, expect my husband, the sole income for our family, to drop a hunk of change on a blue box? Why do I want him to be distracted from his God-given responsibility of taking care of his family? After all, he's given me shelter, money to buy groceries, and a vehicle to get around in. I wanted to be a Mom and he's given me 4 beautiful children and the means to clothe them.
And don't for one second think that I don't feel loved and appreciated...
When he comes home exhausted from working 60+ hours with knuckles bloodied from the day's tasks AND kisses me like he kissed me that first time almost 9 years ago AND converses with me over a meal AND plays with our children AND fertilizes the grass, I feel loved and appreciated. I feel loved and appreciated 99.998% of the time (if only the laundry was always in the hamper).
Is it possible that requiring men to be
good gift givers
Sunday morning chefs
Going one step further, will I teach my sons that they are not good husbands unless they buy into the culture's idea of consumerism and permit their wives to be lazy? I think not.
Disclaimer: If you are a Father and did not show some form of appreciation to the Mother of your child(ren) on Mother's Day (which was yesterday, May 8, 2011), go directly to the store to buy her favorite (chocolate, flowers, coffee, whatever) and give it to your wife as a peace offering. Tell her that you appreciate her everyday, not just on Mother's Day. That should help.