My brother is taking my sons to the store right now to “not buy you flowers Mom”.
Asking family and friends to step in and do the thing (flowers, a mother’s day gift, a card for my birthday) that a partner-husband-wife might do without prompting is not as self serving as it sounds.
I want my boys to understand the expectations around these events, even if I think they are over commercialized and without real thought or meaning to many. I’ll help them figure that piece out later. For now I like a bouquet of tulips in the winter, and they love to be part of the “we are going to the store to get rice milk and syrup for breakfast and NOT TO BUY YOU FLOWERS,” conspiracy with Uncle. They get to give back, and we all need that opportunity modeled at times.
They may miss out on things that I can do nothing about. But I do a damn fine job of filling in the blanks when I can, so that the richness of our experience is not about what was missing, but about how to make it happen with what you’ve got.
Thank you to Uncle, and for all of our friends and family for all of the flowers you are not buying.