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After giving mom a gift...

Here it is, Mother’s Day weekend, and what to get Mom, children and spouses alike begin to wonder with trepidation.

What generally happens with young children is that they make an adorable, yet messy breakfast in bed for mater, complete with sticky bits of jelly and spilled orange juice left in the kitchen that is left for her to clean up, afterwards. Or, the little ones will perhaps pick a sweet bouquet of flowers, which was what I did, one Mother’s Day. Flowering weeds, actually, but my mother gave every indication of being charmed until she came across the red plastic one within the wilted bunch, a dead giveaway that I had indeed pilfered it from an old cemetery half a mile down our street.

Adult children will descend upon their mother’s residence, sending her into a tizzy days before, as she cleans and scrubs to make her house presentable, as the ritual dictates she be taken out for a Mother’s Day brunch buffet somewhere, resulting in long lines, a slab of prime rib the size of a futon, and a headache from downing her annual mimosa.

Husbands will wish the Sham-Wow guy was still on television so that they’d have some sort of help with suggestions.

Now, I’m not a mother, with the exception of our children in ‘fur pajamas,’ but I am a woman of middle age and I can tell you with some certainty what women of my age (and truth be told, even a decade younger) would like far more than the lavender gift soap she will stick in the vanity drawer, along with the others, or the coupon for a facial and manicure is…

Drum roll, please…

A full night’s sleep. Yes, that often strived for but rarely realized 8 hours of blissful slumber, uninterrupted by the kids fighting down the hall, a flatulent hubby who insisted on having a second sloppy joe for dinner, or the cat suddenly heard at 3am hacking up a hairball on the new area rug you just bought last week. Trust me, mom would give anything to be completely undisturbed from 10pm to (dear God, we can hope, can’t we) 7am, and have just one morning where she smiles upon seeing her rested reflection in the bathroom mirror instead of the air bags she sees deployed beneath her eyes that no concealer can hide.

As the big M (that’s not capital for ‘mother,’ by the way) looms, sleep becomes both a rare and precious commodity in a woman’s life. I’d even wager to say that the lack of it is probably responsible for every dark mood, spilled tear or manslaughter charge she experiences. Sure, to you, leaving a couple of blobs of burnt cheese on the bottom of the oven shouldn’t warrant your hair being blown backwards from your head as you incur her wrath, but for someone who is functioning on 4 hours sleep in the last 72 hours, it is a more than adequate trigger for an episode of Hindenburg proportion.

So this Sunday, by all means, buy Mom that sparkling mimosa or hanging basket or spa day gift certificate. Wrap them lovingly in a fancy bow and give them to her on Saturday evening.

And then leave her the hell alone.

Reach PAM STONE at pammstone@gmail.com.

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