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What Do I Want for Mother’s Day?

[caption id="attachment_1079" align="aligncenter" width="620" caption="My son, husband, and I had a blast puddle-jumping in Brooklyn on one of April's rainy days. Spending time together—priceless."][/caption] Honestly, a few hugs and “I love you”s on Mother’s Day will more than do—I don’t need or want fancy gifts in honor of being and doing what I love. But I’ll admit it’s nice to be recognized. Maybe because I love motherhood so much (“you light up every time I see you around your child,” one coworker recently said), I sometimes take for granted that being a mother is work. No complaints here (occasional gripes and vents, but who isn’t entitled to those, parent or not?)…but the nod on May 13th is more than welcome. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside—a little proud, a lot appreciated, and even more grateful for the amazing gift of my own mother. I get emails every day with gift suggestions for moms—the “best” this and the “trendiest” that—and we occasionally do Mother’s Day gift suggestions in our magazines (check out last year’s here for any last-minute gift ideas—they’re still awesome suggestions!). But this year we skipped all that in honor of focusing attention on the less materialistic side of this special day.  

 The True Meaning of Mother’s Day

I was inspired by one woman’s reflections on all the wisdom her mother passed on to her (including why a parent should be like a gas station) as well as how to preserve your own family stories for posterity through StoryCorp (it’s on my to-do list to write up questions for my grandmother and to get my SIL to interview my MIL, a wonderful treasure for when my son grows up). What are you planning to do over Mother’s Day weekend 2012? We highlight a multitude of events, from a Mother’s Day Music Jam to Mother and Daughter Yoga By the Sea on Saturday, from a Victorian Mother’s Day to a Mother’s Day hike on Sunday—search for the ones closest to you here. Even though we haven't decided on my family's plans yet, I think spending time together is truly the best gift. (I won’t complain, though, if diaper duty is completely taken over by my husband that weekend, or if I can somehow avoid the morning wake-up call two days in a row—ah, imagine!! #hinthint)  

Shameless Stuff I Like (Not To Be Taken as Serious Gift Requests)

Despite the fact that I am a lousy gift recipient—really, really bad, and someday I’ll devote a whole post to that, as it’s caused me grief, embarrassment, and no doubt a few subsequent presents—I do relish a well-thought-out gift. My favorites that I have received over the years are inspired by what the giver thinks I will want. Sure, you can get some doozies that way, too, but the most cherished ones aren’t taken off a list I’ve provided, rather intuited. I’m certainly not a good hint-dropper under normal circumstances. Everyone I know can attest to that, some in more annoyed fashion than others. But having seen so many fab finds come across my desk or my computer screen, I thought I’d list a few of my favorites…for YOUR inspiration, of course. (Or, for you to print out and leave conspicuously near your partner’s mail, or to forward to a friend.) If a loved one of mine happens to come across these, well, that was never my intention.  


[caption id="attachment_1076" align="alignleft" width="350" caption="Delicate Mama Ring in 14k White Gold with Small Diamond"][/caption]   I've never been the type to engrave a boyfriend's name on anything...but shouting out that I'm a mother, I'm all for. This beautiful and subtle ring ($393 as pictured; also available in silver, yellow gold, or pink gold) is from St. Kilda Jewelry's signature line. To my husband: Maybe I'll get a tattoo in your honor.                  


[caption id="attachment_1085" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="The Camilla Necklace is just one of an array of pretty options that can be personalized."][/caption]   Okay, Camilla Alves supposedly wears this Isabelle Grace necklace (hence the name, "the Camilla Necklace"), but I love it because it's charming and rustic and pretty all at the same time it celebrates my status as a mom to my boy—and because the round name plate can actually accommodate 9 letters, 8 of which I'd need for my son's name! ($335) The Circle of Love ($185) pendant also from Isabelle Grace is another winner—simple and modern, with the plus of being able to add multiple names on one symbolic circle, so mom and dad can get in on the name action, too—and it's a tad more affordable. And the Mom's Dog Tag Necklace is a personal favorite of mine, simply stamped with block letters and hanging from a cool ball chain. If you're style is more minimalist or boyish, this military-inspired pick ($85 and up) is right for you.    


[caption id="attachment_1091" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="I'm a sucker for wooden keepsake boxes—and the slightly masculine feel of this jewelry box appeals greatly."][/caption]   I used to have one large jewelery box—but it got unruly, with tangled necklaces and lost earring backs. And living in an NYC apartment is not conducive to an albatross of anything, especially a jewelry box wider than my tiny nightstand. My new approach: a few awesome, stylish boxes with my items scattered among them. I keep my everyday pieces (wedding band, favorite studs) in one, my bold costume jewelry in another, my waterproof watch and sporty beaded necklaces in yet another. This artisan jewelry box with hand-carved wood details and an elegant black finish would be a perfect addition to my collection—and yours? ($175 for medium size, pictured)        


[caption id="attachment_1095" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="The first book I made from Blurb has sparked a desire to make more—but I need time!"][/caption]   All of my photographer and design friends recommended Blurb to me for years, but not until last Christmas did I delve into the site to finally create my first two books—and I am hooked! Professional quality results, easy-to-use software for novices or the ability to fully customize for those InDesign aficionados out's an amazing tool, and at incredibly reasonable prices for the quality. A gift from Blurb would be a treasure, but the actual TIME to myself to pull photos off my devices, scan old family pictures, and thoughtfully craft a book would be even better!          


A handmade something from my toddler, a heartfelt card from his daddy.  

 Other luxuries:

• personalized stationery (the really nice stuff—it feels indulgent to write on, but in these days of no-more snail mail, even more special to receive!) • a massage (my favorite local low-key spa: Sage Spa in Brooklyn) What's on YOUR wish list?  

Dawn M. Roode


Dawn M. Roode was formerly editorial director of NYMetroParents, where she launched the award-winning semi-annual magazine Special Parent. She was managing editor at Parenting, BabyTalk, Child, Harper's Bazaar, and Latina magazines. She is a strategic content specialist and currently writes and edits parenting, health, travel, and special needs features for various media outlets. Roode is mom to one son and recently relocated from Brooklyn to the suburbs of New York City. Follow her on Twitter @DawnRoode.

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