Mother’s Day Gift

So, I felt like slacking off today, post-wise, so I thought that I’d link to a Mother’s Day post I did back when I was doing the CBS 6 blog. But it’s gone. I think they gave up on that venture shortly after I said that I didn’t have time to contribute. . . coincidence?

Luckily, I’ve got a copy of this post (although, alas, not of many others that were there), so I’m popping it in below. I’ve probably linked to it before, so I’m sorry if it’s old news for some of you. There’s a new cutey-patootie photo, though!

As parents, we struggle to tackle all the items on our daily to-do lists while fitting in the snuggles, special moments, and family dinners that create a joyful childhood. These efforts often seem unappreciated or forgotten entirely, but pausing between tasks can yield unexpected gifts.

A couple of years ago, my husband spent Mother’s Day hanging a tree swing in our front yard. I’d been lobbying for this project among the many others that beckoned from every crumbling corner of our old house and lawn. By evening it still wasn’t done, but he was determined. After tucking the girls in bed, we both went out into the dark. Wearing a goofy headlamp, he sprawled high between ladder and tree adjusting ropes while I assisted below. We couldn’t help noticing that our five-year-old had climbed out of bed to spy on us through her front window. We’d glance up at her room and her head would dip down quickly. But it didn’t seem worth pausing to try to enforce bedtime. We were eager to finish for the night: I had laundry to fold, and my husband had a work presentation to prepare.

Finally, the swing was done. We took one look at it and another at our daughter’s moonlit face shining out of the dark, and we called her to come test it out.

Recently, I was out front with my now-eight-year-old big girl. Just as I grabbed her lap for an underdog push, she confided, “You know, I was the first person to ever swing on this swing.” I stopped, holding her, and nodded. She closed her eyes and leaned toward me to recount her story. “I was so excited, and I was in my footy pajamas but it was warm, and it seemed so late because it was really dark. Actually, I remember. It was 9:03.”

The 9:03 detail got me. This was her authentic memory. Intent on my task, the time didn’t occur to me, but someone who had just learned to read a digital clock, up past her bedtime, would remember. Just looking at her, it was clear how special that night had been: parents conspiring to break a rule, the warm springtime, soaring into the leaves and stars. It is just one short scene from my daughter’s childhood, but knowing that she cherishes it, too, was my best Mother’s Day gift ever.


  1. Sara

    Hi Katie, I’ve been reading and loving your posts for a month or so now. This actually brought tears to my eyes! It sooo reminds me of my 6 year old, now-reading-clocks son who also pays attention to things like that (and remembers them for years!). Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you, Sara, for getting in touch. I really appreciate it.

    And now my younger one J is obsessed with understanding time, too. I haven’t broken it to her that it accelerates once you have kids.

  3. 4M horsecamp is absolutely wonderful. After one week my daughter participated in a horseshow where she even did a small jump, and they stayed busy all day doing “horse stuff”, like cleaning stalls, cleaning the horses hooves, washing/brushing the horses, etc.
    There are lots of teenage girls to help the younger ones and the owner is super patient, or at least was with my daughter the first summer when she was very apprehensive about getting on a horse.

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