BY SAREEN KASPARIAN
In a time when we casually tell our manicurist “love you” and end every text to a friend with “ILYSM” (I love you so much), how can we show genuine and affectionate appreciation for our mothers?
In a bid to show our love and acceptance to society, we often adorn our text messages with hearts and flood our social media posts with uplifting and positive emojis. However, when it comes to expressing our love and affection for our mothers, even the most expressive emojis and acronyms fall short in capturing the depth of our true sentiments and emotions.
On Sunday, May 14th, we celebrate Mother’s Day in the United States. Mother’s Day is celebrated in many countries around the world, often on different dates and with different traditions. Yet, the underlying sentiment remains the same: to honor and celebrate the special role that mothers play in our lives. The celebration of Mother’s Day extends beyond biological mothers and can encompass grandmothers, aunts, guardians, or any female mentor who has shown love, care, and affection towards a child.
Year after year, I’ve showered my mom with fancy flowers and gifts, but she’s always been unimpressed. The fancy bouquet of flowers proved to be a better choice than the overpriced brunch, with runny eggs, soggy French toast, and lukewarm champagne. While the massage certificate was an improvement over the flowers and brunch, it still fell short. The closest I came to finding the perfect gift was with a handwritten card.
This year, I started my search for the perfect gift earlier than usual to honor my mom with heartfelt gestures that go beyond just words and a heavy price tag. And thankfully, I did so just in time, as a quick glance at a small floral arrangement delivered on Mother’s Day weekend was priced north of $200. The more I searched for gifts and adventures, the more I realized why my $3.99 Hallmark card was the winner. Here’s my selection for 2023.
For my mother: She’s not into personalized or ornamental gifts. She’s more of a no-nonsense, no-frills kind of gal who prefers practical and functional items. Therefore, I put together a care basket which includes: her favorite tinted moisturizer, two sets of plug-in Apple headphones (since she’ll lose one in a few weeks), a fully charged portable charger power bank (since I lost the one I borrowed from her) and a 12-pack of her favorite, limited-edition Cola-Cola TicTac mints.
Turning to a more sentimental gift, I fulfilled two of my mom’s recent requests — to teach my little sister Sira how to record TikTok music videos and take more shareable pictures between us. So, on Sunday, while I unveil Sira’s debut video on the expansive TV screen, I intend to present my mother with a bespoke Mother’s Day card accompanied by a freshly printed photo album. This meticulously curated album features images of our family throughout the years, complemented by location markers that encapsulate the many cherished memories we have shared.
For my grandmothers: Multiple lunch sessions with me and my notebook. While it may seem self-indulgent, I want to hear and record the stories of my grandmothers, as courageous immigrants-turned-entrepreneurs. By unraveling the intricacies of my family’s heritage and delving deeper into certain time-honored customs, I hope to better understand the triumphs and tribulations that shaped their lives and ultimately shaped who we are as a family today. While this gift cannot be packaged, wrapped, or purchased, its value is everlasting. By connecting with my grandmothers, preserving our family history, and passing down their wisdom and knowledge, I will honor them for generations to come.
This year, to celebrate Mother’s Day, think outside the box when it comes to gift-giving, and consider more personal and meaningful ways to celebrate your mother figures.
Sareen Kasparian is currently a junior at Crescenta Valley High School and a member of the Pasadena Nigol Touman chapter of the Armenian Youth Federation. Teachable Moments is a knowledge exchange, a column dedicated to sharing generational insight as we intertwine experience and reasoning with modern day problems and solutions.