Average Jane

The Real Gift Wasn’t Being Wrapped

They got here last night. Again. Mom and dad (and dog) rolled into my corner of suburbia for the last time. I am going about this stay with a new attitude, new lease on life. Wish. Me. Luck.

After dinner, I asked my mom to get ice cream with me. I wanted to stay out of the house as long as possible. My dad makes me nervous. But with ice cream finished and no other activities on the horizon, we went back to my our apartment. I had something to do. I needed to wrap a gift. She came and sat at the table where I was wrapping and started to help.

I am not crafty. At all. But I can wrap a present. Been doing it for years. For once, though, I wasn’t compelled to tell her that. I let her help me. She measured the paper I’d need and told me where to cut. She held the paper while I taped it. She told me that she folds her ends this way. Even though it wasn’t the way I normally did it, I gave it a shot. She said, “Don’t worry. It doesn’t have to be perfect.” Thanks, Mom.

We taped and cut and wrapped together for 15 minutes (It really wasn’t a big gift at all, just a non-standard-shaped gift. And did I mention I’m not crafty?) I could see how much she was enjoying herself. Enjoying the fact that her daughter who hasn’t wanted to be mothered for years (hasn’t known how to be mothered) needed her, needed her help. I didn’t have any urge to tell her to stop. It was my opportunity to tell my mom without actually saying it that I love her and do need her and know she is a loving, doting mother.

Which is funny now that I type it “out loud”. On the way home from dinner we had a discussion about how in our family, we aren’t “sayers”. We’re “doers”. We do things to show affection like take the dog for a walk, put the groceries away, buy a gift or dinner. But saying, “I love you,” or “thank you” is a rare occurrence.

So last night my mom and I had a conversation about love and appreciation without ever saying a word. She mothered me. I let her be my mom. And, my friends, that was the real gift.


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  1. When my mother and I have these conversations it usually takes the form of one of us cooking for the other.

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 8 months ago

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