A Gift for Mom

Every year, I ask my mom the same thing: “What would you like for Mother’s Day?” Every year I am hoping to get a response hinting at something I would be able to pick up at a department store. But, instead, my mother always gave me a different variation of the same response:

“A smile”
“Your love” 
“Kind words” … you get the gist. 

While these responses bring warmth and fuzzy feelings in your heart, they are a little difficult to box or place in a gift bag. And, so, I was always left wandering aimlessly in the mall purchasing items I did not need in the hopes of finding something that would please my mom. This was a frustrating experience every year, and I never quite understood why my mom couldn’t just say “a sweater” or “a new purse”. It certainly would have made shopping a little easier. 

This is my first Mother’s Day as a mom, and I finally get it. 

A mother’s sacrifice is the ultimate sacrifice. It is a physical sacrifice, an emotional sacrifice, and a mental sacrifice. The only gift a child could give his mother is one that would make the sacrifice worthwhile. This gift cannot be placed in a box or bag, it can only be shown. 

Show me that the aches and pains I bore during pregnancy and child labour were to bring a child into this world who is compassionate and caring. One who is resilient enough to withstand the heartache of treating others with love, kindness, and respect even when they choose to treat you poorly.

Show me that the countless sleepless nights were to build a man of good character. One whose life is defined by the good he has done, not by the ill others have done to him.

Show me that the hours we spent playing together will help you become a child who never stops learning, who will grow to be a man of insatiable curiosity, and a man that will take the path of uncertainty and adventure instead of the path of least resistance. 

Show me that the dozens of songs we sang together have turned you into a boy who will learn to listen to the music of his heart. One who will make decisions not solely based on rationality and good sense, but simply by knowing it is the right thing to do. 

Show me that every hug and kiss I gave you taught you how to love unconditionally. Grow to be a man whose wife will never doubt if your love for her is unconditional; and, not a man who will love her only when the conditions are right for you. 

Show me that no matter how old you get, you will never stop being a child at heart. One who smiles wholeheartedly, holding nothing back and with nothing to hide. One who has the courage to show his true colours despite what others think. 

And, so, while a sweater, purse, or bouquet of flowers will bring a momentary smile to my mother’s face, I won’t be wandering the malls at all this year. I know her happiness lies in knowing that she has worked relentlessly her whole life to raise a child who will make her mother proud. 

Published by Anjali Joshi

Anjali Joshi is a science educator, author, and lifelong learner. She is mom to two curious boys who keep her on her toes!

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