In early 1970, on a military base in Florida not far from the Atlantic Ocean, I tore my way free of my mother, born with such turbulence that I vowed it would never happen again. Despite our screaming, my father brought my mom and me home, where years and years of unappreciated care and unconditional love began.
I can never pay back what my mother sacrificed for me in blood, sweat, and tears, so I mostly try not to think about it. But one day a year, advertisers of the world conspire with my mother, and all mothers, to create a massive ball of guilt so overwhelming that not even I, a son who once bought myself a guitar for her birthday, can possibly ignore for long.
To celebrate the woman I destroyed on that day, and pretty much every day since, here is a list of gifts that any mother would love to have and should be easy to give her, even for a lazy slob like me.
2) Don’t use that tone with her. Try a new tone. Maybe two.
3) Send your leftovers to those starving kids in Africa, care of your mom.
4) Invent clothes that pick themselves up.
5) Say you’re sorry to your brother/sister and actually mean it this time.
6) Understand every part of the word, “no.”
7) Admit to her that you probably won’t jump off a bridge, even though all your cool friends are doing it.
8) Finally do something she tells you to just “because I said so.”
9) Let her really give you something to cry about.
10) Don’t make her turn the car around and go home.
11) Do something before she counts all the way down from five.
12) Kiss your mom with that mouth.