I am not sappy. I am not a sentimentalist. I never have been. I’ve never cared for soft, easy listening “love” type songs. I’ve never cared for picking up souvenirs wherever I go. The only reasons I have kept my wedding dress, some of my kids’ toys and some of their baby clothes is because I thought that they might want them someday. Just because I’m not sentimental doesn’t mean they won’t be. I have kept some of their artwork, but mostly because it’s just so damn cute. It’s mostly in boxes in storage.
I don’t have my kids’ artwork plastered all over every conceivable surface. It’s not that I don’t like their stuff. I do. I keep a few treasured pieces out and store the rest for posterity. I can ‘t handle clutter. Having every surface covered with something, even if it is adorable, starts making me feel like I’m claustrophobic. And panicking about all that dusting. I hate dusting. Besides, they’ve outgrown those years where they are making 300 pieces of art every day. I’m lucky to get much of anything these days. And what they do make, they tend to keep in their own notebooks. It’s private, Mom.
The month of December nearly always fills me with a distinct unease. It means picking out holiday and birthday cards. Most Christmas cards are sappy. Finding the cute or funny one always seems to be a 1 in 10 chance. And my family knows to never expect a sappy card from me for their birthday, either. Willow’s birthday card, oh…shoot! I forgot to get her a birthday card this year. I got her an ipod and new headphones she really, really, really wanted and she squealed so much that I don’t think she cared. Kids don’t care about opening cards. Why do we get cards for them, anyway?
Receiving birthday cards, Christmas cards, Mother’s Day cards, and Anniversary cards is even worse. Because then I never know if sappy sentimentality is right around the corner. My son’s taste tends to run like mine in the card department. Whenever I open a card from him, I can guarantee it is either a) smart-alecky or b) hilarious. My daughter usually opts for the funny card choice, too. Usually. But sometimes, she throws me for a loop.
This year, my daughter got me not one but two cards for my birthday. My birthday was yesterday! I guess her great-grandpa had given her a little money for her own birthday on Christmas (yes, Willow is a Christmas baby) and she was feeling a little extra flush.
One was a cute card, which you see the back of above. The other card she gave me was a sappy one. It nearly made me cry, because it was soooo damn sweet. And I never cry over sappy cards. I have steel armor-plated skin.
She said that it was all true! Aaaagh! How do I combat that? She…she loves to laugh with me and tell stories and remembering things that she and I will only relate to. Shoot. My armor is cracking. *snif*
Even David threw me for a loop this year. He got me a card that succeeded at being both sappy and sweet, but was funny enough that I think it tipped the scale over into the funny category. But still. There was the sap factor. First time ever, I think.
David slipped $20 in the card as my birthday present. Ha! My son is giving me cash now. Bwa ha ha ha ha hah! I like that. Oh, okay. I’ll consider that a bribe and officially pretend there was no sappiness involved with this card whatsoever.
Then….there’s my husband. He is the one person in my family that I can always count on to give me a sappy card for every occasion. He can make a Halloween card sappy. I mean, c’mon! Halloween? Well, yeah, it’s the anniversary of the day we met, but…monsters! Makeup! Ghouls and goblins and trick or treating! Seems like that is major humor territory there. But, alas, sappiness is in his DNA. Cards from him I can count on being embossed, with things like ribbons and flowers and vellum paper and fancy script. Don’t get me wrong, I like all those things. It’s just all together, plus the poems that are usually on them and it’s….too much.
Anyway, getting cards like this took some getting used to for me, since I’m not like that at all. Whenever I get a card from him, he always looks so worried that I won’t like it and so hopeful that I will that I just have to give him a huge smile and a kiss. It’s who he is. It’s one of his ways of expressing his love, so I’m okay with that.
My birthday this year was no different.
This year, I expected it to be like always. But this year, the card he picked really touched me. I’m not sure why. Maybe the sentiment that even through all the frowns and downs (and there have been MANY these last couple of years), and especially because of them, we are who we are right now.
Oh, crap. I’m all choked up and have tears in my eyes.
Dammit Hallmark. I’m turning into a sap.
Or maybe it’s just that those were words I really needed to hear right now. Yeah…that’s the ticket. *patching my badly cracked armor*
Sigh. I need a mo….
Okay, I’m back. Oh! You should see what my daughter got me for my birthday! She obviously put a lot of thought into it, so I was incredibly touched.
Now you just might see a bag of yarn and crochet hooks. I see bonding. About a month ago I asked Willow if she would like to take a crocheting class with me, and she said no, since she feels she knows enough already. But she remembered my interest in crocheting, and she even took the time to teach me some stitches, using her supplies. I don’t have any of my own yarn or hooks. Or didn’t. Now I do! Now we can work on projects together and have our own little mom/daughter stitch ‘n bitch, er… I mean stitch n’ chat sessions. Yay! Now we’ll have even more opportunity to laugh, tell stories and remember things that only we can relate to…