Why I Need (Not Want) My Mom

My mother is an incredible human being. And I’m not just saying that because she’s my mother. I would still consider her an amazing human being if she was someone else’s mother.

Here’s the thing about my mom. She is a difficult person to buy gifts for.

I think when people hit the age of about 19, it just becomes easier to get gift cards. Everyone always talks about how gift cards aren’t meaningful and all that, but the truth of the matter is that by age 19, all you really want from life is some combination of clothes, electronics, music, movies, and books. And all of those things kind of require personal input. So we get each other gift cards, and we write each other nice little letters that say what we think the money should be spent on.

That’s what you do for most adults.

And most adults are more than happy to spend that money on themselves. I know I am.

Not my mom.

I don’t really have many memories of my mom spending money on something she wanted. She only spends money on things she needs, or, more accurately, things the humble Smith household needs. My grandmother got my mother a gift card to Kohl’s for Christmas. What was my mom excited to buy? New bath towels. No joke. She said our old ones were falling apart. She was right.

I think that’s a really cool skill to have – to be able to discern what it is you need from what it is you want.

Challenge Saturday #2

I watched a lot of people get gifts today. The gifts were given anonymously. And the people who received them liked getting the gifts, but watching them open them was sad. They weren’t appreciative on the whole. Then I realized I didn’t really blame them. It’s hard to get excited about a gift without having the connection from the giver. It’s a bastardization of the reason for a gift. We give gifts because we care about people. A good gift should leave the giver vulnerable and should bare a bit of the giver’s soul.

I challenge you to give a gift like that.