On Not Receiving Flowers

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.


  1. This post made me smile. 🙂

    My sister’s a single mom, to the cutest second-grader ever.

    Who has a Papaw who loves her and babysits her on weekends (when Mom has to study for law school finals), and she has several uncles who play tennis with her, and wrestle in the backyard, and play Memory and Go Fish with her.

    It takes a village to raise a child, anyway, not one isolated mother and father. That village has uncles, and grandfathers, and friends, and lots of other people.

    (Enjoy your tulips!)

    • Criss, thanks for the comparison. Always appreciate hearing about those out there living parallel lives. It sounds like you are a very perceptive and supportive sister! Funny thing was I got daisies from the boys. Later that day a girlfriend brought me tulips! So happy with both.

  2. Mama C, you’re all about it, and so is Uncle! It’s the thought, and the lesson, and the thought behind the lesson that counts. They will certainly thank you. Enjoy the day with your loves.

  3. Awww. Don’t you just love when they know how to keep secrets and surprises =). I totally understand. To feel appreciate for all the hard work that goes into being a mom is always nice… and how lucky are you to have TWO men of the house, hehe.

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