Betty J. Slade
A gift for Mother’s Day. Why didn’t I just say “thank you” and leave it at that?
Our son said he ordered me something for Mother’s Day. It had come in and needed to be picked up.
“What is it? Will I like it?”
“You’ll like it,” our son replied. “It’s patio furniture.”
“What does it look like and what color is it?”
Our son gave me his under-the-brow look and said, “Just say ‘thank you.’”
You can’t just say “thank you” when someone is giving you certain things, especially if it may change the look or design of your home.
I have patio furniture. Its antique, and I love setting it out every year. I don’t see the need for anything new.
Our son said, “I’ll just cancel the order and get my money back.”
“Now don’t over react.” He can be so quick at times. Besides, I’m sure there is something I could learn to be happy with.
I agreed to go to the store with our son to pick up the furniture under one condition: I wanted to see a floor sample first.
I’ll admit, I loved the color and design that I saw. The brown, gray, black and beige was a soothing palette. Although, I prefer reds and aqua. Our son has his own groomed taste. He prefers modern and new, while I like ancestral country. What our son Precious calls, “old people” furniture.
Looking for some affirmation or guidance on how to handle the receipt of this gift, I asked my Sweet Al what he thought.
“The birds will fly over and poop on the new furniture just like they did to the old furniture.”
That wasn’t the help I was looking for, so I asked our son, “Where do you plan to put the new furniture?”
Again, with the under-the-brow look, “Have I ever put anything anywhere that you didn’t like?”
Our son said he wanted to put the new furniture on the back porch. I, of course said it needed to be on the side patio. Another impasse. I was starting to feel that receiving a gift was more work than it was worth.
After a bit more push and pull with our son over his “gift,” we finally headed home. And, in a short period of time, I had new outdoor furniture on the side patio where I wanted it.
There were still a few more hurdles to cross. The discussion about buying every color of the rainbow in throw pillows was abruptly stopped by my son who agreed to buy one bright red umbrella to go with my new settee.
I realize this whole event was a heart-filled generous gesture by my son. Even so, I need to be a good steward of any gift received, which means I have to be part of getting me to the part where I like it.
Final brushstroke: Our children have different thoughts and ideas than we do. Some are, without a doubt, better than anything we would come up with for ourselves. But, Mother’s Day only comes one day a year. And on that day, we celebrate not just who we are, but our likes and our ills. After all, we have to live with ourselves, we may as well be comfortable as we do.