Here is how it works at our house:
There's no such thing as stressing out over what to get me. The jewelers with the commercials ("Mom Rocks" does not mean I want a diamond to prove it) and the department stores with the displays (if I needed a mixer, I'd make it a household budget item, not a measure of my kids' love for me). Now I know I may not speak for all mothers, or even for all the mothers I know, but I don't want anything that costs a dime (except for the Nikon DSLR 80 with the lens kit options... and that's for another day; honey, if you're reading this: I still want it, just not from the kids!).
For Mom's Day, I want handpainted, handmade and globby unidentifiable clay things. I want breakfast in bed even if it's on the raw or burnt side. I want my kids to wear what I lay out for them and then I want them to not change clothes for the whole day, thus allowing me to not only see them looking cute but the pleasure of knowing the laundry pile won't grow more than I decreased it in my double-time laundry the day before.
Most importantly, I want them to smile for a bunch of photos, and that is my Mother's Day Miracle every year: the pictures in which no one is picking their nose or being a pill about joining the portrait. For Mother's Day, if things go my way, none of the pictures will have the barely visible hand of Grandpa holding one or the other of them forcibly in the frame.
So, on this subject of kid pictures: Have you ever noticed how your favorite pictures (maybe it's just me) as time goes by are not the ones where everything looks perfect? Personally, I love the screaming mimis... in retrospect. And I wonder whether this is a "hindsight is 20-20" thing... or not. It could be that I am merely romanticizing my memories, as I am aware I have a tendency to do.
To test this theory, let us consider this photo, taken just three scant weeks ago:
Yeah, maybe that one is not far enough behind me to be cute yet. I can still clearly recall the piercing sound she made instead of "using her words," of course, and the utter horror of being in public with many well-mannered cousins and her sisters and about 600 strangers. My memory is crystal on this: First I held the camera up as a shield. Then I tried to pretend she might be someone else's daughter whom I just happened to be putting in time-out. Then I moved on to rationalizing my pretense. It does take a village to raise a child, right? Those perfect parents over there with the adorable, not-screaming preschoolers might mistake my calm cool exterior for the Mother Theresa effect. No, she's not mine, I'm just big enough to step in and help whichever mommy here is incapable of prepping her 4-year-old to go out in public.
Happy Mother's Day to all of you... and may your Mother's Day Miracles be recorded on film.