Another Mother’s Day has arrived, and I admit, I’m feeling pretty blessed today. Beautiful, healthy children and a loving husband are enough to swell a mom’s heart with gratitude. In fact, the only thing that could make this day more perfect would be if the woman that I love and admire most in the world was here with me. My mom moved to Florida a couple of years ago, and while I enjoy summer visits from her and my stepdad and winter road trips to the Sunshine State, Mother’s Day is bittersweet this year.
One of the things my mom and I enjoy doing the most is shopping. Shopping!?! Doesn’t that take money, money that maybe wasn’t in the budget? Well, yes, but we could spend an entire day wandering through clothing stores, gift shops, and malls without buying much of anything except an iced coffee. What we really enjoy is the time together, time to relax and talk about our lives, our interests, and build a friendship supported by decades of motherly love. When I look at my little ones, it’s hard to imagine that someday they’ll be my age, with children of their own, and that we’ll talk as friends and equals, share our troubles and joys, and really see each other for the individuals that we are in addition to the relationship we have to each other.
Maybe the most exciting time to be had shopping with my mom takes place at garage sales around town. Any negligible skills I have at haggling were learned watching my mom offer a quarter for a teapot or $5 for a rocking chair. She’s the sweetest, kindest, and friendliest person you could hope to meet…unless you’re selling something. Nice? Yes. Pushover? NO. That’s a hard balance to keep sometimes but that’s my mom. If you think you need a ton of money to decorate your home in style, just make a quick visit to her house. Besides being a sharp negotiator, my mom is a natural interior decorator. She’ll accept your praise with a modest smile and announce that she bought this piece for a dollar, or decorated the entire front porch for less than $20.
Many of us learn our money skills from our mothers. Tagging along to the grocery store, shopping for new school supplies, and balancing the checkbook…these are all opportunities for a child to watch and learn how to handle the financial responsibilities that come with adulthood.
So this Mother’s Day, thank your mom. Thank her for teaching you the value of a dollar and how to drive a bargain. Thank her for showing you how to stretch what you have and make a beautiful home without breaking the bank. Thank her for the countless hours of love and instruction, shopping, cooking, cleaning, and playing. Thank her for whatever she did or does that made you who you are. I know I will. Thanks, Mom. I’m Claire, the Afena blog mom. Thanks for reading.