It’s Mother’s Day. This day doesn’t matter to me as much as it did when I was a child. One year, I had saved up all the change from my lunch money to buy a gift for my mother. I was probably about 12-years-old.
On occasion, when my mom didn’t make my lunch, she would give a few dollars to buy something. Our favourite spot, my friends and I, was a little convenience store that, curiously, also had a little kitchen counter at the front. You could order sandwiches, subs, burgers or french fries. We always got french fries – sprinkled with malt vinegar, salt and pepper and doused in ketchup. We’d hang around right outside the shop doors, enjoying our fries, the sunshine and each other’s company before having to go back to school.
I woke up that Sunday morning. Exhilarated! Got up, dressed, and went to empty my piggy bank. Quarters, dimes, nickels, some pennies. All amounting to something just over five bucks. I filled my purse with the change, put on my shoes and quietly snuck out of the house.
The 20-minute walk from Falstaff to Sheridan Mall felt like forever. I knew the exact store, and I already had a vision of what I was going to get. The weight of the change made the skinny straps of my handbag dig into my shoulders, distracting me from my wonderful dream every time I had to switch from one shoulder to the next.
Ten minutes early. I held my bag, straps wrapped around my hand, while I waited. They couldn’t open the doors fast enough. Straight away, I squeezed through and immediately took the down escalator to the variety store in the basement. This store felt massive. I’d never been in here alone. Always with my mother. They sold everything from toys to household items to figurines. That’s what I was here for, an angel figurine.
I scanned the shop, surveying the isles. Finally. The right stuff. I smiled as I reviewed my options, deciding to settle on a white angel kneeling in prayer, wings extended. When the guy rang me up, I was almost a dollar short. Brokenhearted and visibly dejected, I turned to walk away.
“Hey! is this for your mom?” A nod was all I could manage.
“I’ll wrap it up for you.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Returning to the register, I watched him wrap the angel in white tissue paper and put it in a small grayish cardboard box, reminding me of egg cartons, and then in a plastic bag. I was so happy, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. “Thank you!” I said and made my way to the exit.
Feeling light and airy, I must have skipped, fast floated, all the way home. Of course, my mom was upset when I walked in the door. “Where were you?”
“I went to the store.”
“You don’t leave this house without telling me. You know that.”
“Ok.” Not wanting to mess up the day, I add, “Sorry mom.” I removed my shoes and headed to my bedroom.
“Breakfast is almost ready.” I hear her yell. Sunday morning breakfast was always outstanding. But this morning, I didn’t care about that. I had other things on my mind.
I closed my door, removed the box from the plastic bag and gently set it on the dresser. I got my pen and wrote on top of the box, careful not to make any mistakes:
To: Mom Happy Mother's Day!
Then I changed into my house clothes, picked up the box and went to the living area. Mom and my stepdad were already sitting at the dining table. I walk over to her, box in hand, smiling, “Happy Mother’s Day!”
Yesterday André reminded me that it’s Mother’s Day tomorrow. “What do you want to eat? I will pay for lunch?” What!? Where did you get money from.
“Thank you baby. I’ll think about it.”
I don’t care about lunch. I am looking forward to watching Justice League Dark: Apokolips War with the boys later today.
Happy Mother’s Day!