Because they’re now 11 and 13, my daughters don’t do Mother’s Day art projects in school anymore.

Gone are the days when I could count on getting handmade clay sculptures or fingerpainted portraits that they’d slaved over in their classrooms. I still get homemade cards, but as soon as my girls have less free time and more disposable income, I suspect I’ll be getting the store-bought kind. Not to mention gifts that they’ve bought with their allowance or babysitting income.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

However, I’ve really enjoyed the homemade cards and gifts I’ve received for more than a decade of Mother’s Days.

In recent years, for example, I’ve received cards like this intricate little creation:

I’ve been honored with effusive declarations of love like this one: (that’s “Kung Fu Panda” that I trump, FYI)

And I’ve even been the lucky recipient of creative coupon cards:

None of them cost a single penny, yet I wouldn’t trade a single one for a diamond tiara or an all-expense-paid trip to an island paradise.

All you moms out there – I think you understand.

(p.s. Happy Mother’s Day!)



I wouldn’t mind a vase of roses
blooming rich and red,
but a thick and fingerpainted pot
is what I’d like instead.

I won’t turn down a gourmet brunch
at a bistro chic and tony,
but I’d much prefer a plate
ornate with painted macaroni.

Exotic chocolates wrapped in foil
no doubt I’d truly savor,
but messy pancakes not quite cooked
to me have much more flavor.

A gorgeous card is nice to get
all gussied up with gold,
and yet a crayoned, misspelled card
I’ll keep for years untold.

A spa day or an evening out
are nice, I have to say,
but I’d rather have the other kind of gift
on Mother’s Day.

The kind that’s not quite perfect
is the kind I’m speaking of,
the one not bought with money –
the one just made with love.


©2011 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz