I was going through my mother's closet looking for old pictures, and I found a small dusty shoebox pushed way in the back. Curious to see what my mother stashed back there for so long (come on, kids can do that right?), I reached back and pulled the box from its seemingly eternal resting spot. I opened the lid to find it filled with all the Mother's Day cards and homemade gifts I had made for her until I was about 10 years old.
In the box was the hand imprinted in clay from pre-school, letters to the tooth fairy and her tiny little responses, numerous hand-made cards, each year the letters getting straighter and the words more coherent, and a cassette tape that I had made from my karaoke machine when I was 8 years old. I sat back and realized that when I was about 10, I started babysitting, so I had money. That was right around the time when I wanted to start buying my mom her Mother's Day gifts instead of making them.
As I got older, I remember the pride I would feel in purchasing a sweater or some perfume for her, or trading the time I spent making cookies and a card for a gift certificate to a nice restaurant and some flowers. I noticed that the box didn't contain the Liz Claiborne purse that I bought for her in the mid-'90s or the perfume I had saved up to get for her. Instead here was the card with google-eyed smiley faces and the bracelets made out of (now stale) Froot Loops—all things that cost nothing, all things that she treasured.
So never fear, if you, like me, do not have a lot of money to show mom how much you love her. A mixed CD or tape is always a great choice for a thoughtful gift. Here are Mother's Day song suggestions that will get mom dancing and let her know how much you love her.
• "Hey Mama" Kanye West
• "I'm Not Busy" Quintron
• " You Got It" Roy Orbison
• "Mama Said" The Shirelles
• "Dear Momma" Tupac
• "I'm Yours, You're Mine" Mable John and Singin' Sammy Ward
• "In My Life" The Beatles
• "Surrender" Cheap Trick
• "Halo" Beyonce
• "Forever Forever" Fats Domino
• "Lovely, Just Like Her" Irving
• "You're the One For Me" Jonathan Richmond
• "Bombs Over Mom" Lost Sounds
• " Take Time to Know Her" Percy Sledge
• " I Love You 'Cause You Look Like Me" The Ponys
• "Nothing Can Change This Love" Sam Cooke
• "If I Needed You" Towns Van Zant
• " Shelter From the Storm" Bob Dylan
• " Don't Let Go" Weezer
• "Maps" Yeah Yeah Yeah