Today, thanks to the wondrous connectivity of Facebook, I was led to a blog post called “What I Want For Mother’s Day.” It is written by a site called The Little White Lion.
I don’t know who the Little White Lion is, or what her reason for blogging might be. Judging from her website’s ad by my favorite yoga clothier, Vickerey, the one thing I do know is that Little White Lion has done a far better job monetizing her website than I have! (Ha ha ha!)
No matter. I so love what this writer had to say, I’m re-posting it here, with some major tweaks of my own. The end result is part Little White Lion, part me, Your Jewish Mother.
Dear Children: Mother’s Day is coming up, and I thought I should tell you what I want. This way, there is no guilty, panicked, last-minute purchasing of flowers or bric-a-brac at the closest convenience store. There is no need to spend money (which you probably didn’t earn) to buy me something, which I will then have to dust, move, and schlep around with me until my dying days.
No thanks. This is what I want instead.
By the way, since I am your mother, I feel like I have a blessing from the universe to voice this wish out loud, and without hesitation. In case you have forgotten, I’m the person who spent 11+ months uniting your little embryonic cells in a fertility lab; I’m the gal who spent 16+ months hauling your growing limbs and intestines about, each step more painful than the one that had come before; I’m that lady over there who had a career, who had success and who had a whole lot of fun before you two came along. Now, my “career,” my “success” and my “fun” – well, it’s defined differently.
Daughter and son, here is my Mother’s Day wish:
I want you to be a mensch, a decent human being.
I want you to be who you are, but don’t be an asshole.
I want you to work hard at everything you do, because life is too short to not try your best.
I want you to ask for help when you need it.
I want you to notice when others might need help, and offer it without them asking.
I hope you can be proud of your successes, and yet always aware that your inate gifts come from a place outside of yourself, and hence, you cannot take credit for them.
I want you to learn how to cook, do your own laundry, live within your means, do things when you say you’ll do them, and show up when you say you’ll be there.
I want you to know how to clean a bathroom. I don’t want to ever hear you say that it is “someone else’s job.”
When you screw up, and you will, I want you to embrace it, because screws-ups serve as a lid for our egos.
I want you to travel, because the world is huge, and you are a tiny crucial part of it.
I want you to know that even when we hate each other, I will never stop loving you.
Once you’ve grown up, I want you to subscribe to The New Yorker magazine, and never stop reading.
I hope you will always know that everything you do, and everything you don’t do, has an impact on this planet. To someone or something.
I want you to gain financial and emotional independence; plan for the worst, but hope for the best.
I want you to be more interested in other people than you are in yourself.
I want you to know that you are flawed, and you are extraordinary. There is no one else like you.
I want you to know that I would lay down my life for you in Lily Potter fashion any day of the week.
I want you to speak and act like a person who is aware of the immense privilege you have inherited by simple virtue of being born in this time, country, and family. You didn’t earn this gift; so you don’t have a right to squander it. Your luck is one in a billion.
I want you to never lose your soul connection to nature, animals and the natural world. These concrete jungles we build are devoid of almost everything that matters.
I want you to know that even in the darkest of times, you can choose happiness.
This Mother’s Day, and on that Mother’s Day when I am no longer here to hold your pint-sized hands (or when your pint-sized hands have outgrown holding,) humankind hopes for the gift of your smile.