By Ali Hanford
Thanks to social distancing, the bar for Mother’s Day is lower than it ever has been. There are plenty of real-world experiences that Mom misses more than she thought she would and you can recreate them for her with minimal prep and almost no money. No, we’re not talking about an at-home spa day or a fancy brunch. We’re aiming much, much lower:
School Dropoff: Okay, Dads. All you have to do for this one is get your kids dressed and load them into the car. Maybe bring a ball or something. Let Mom drive you all over to the local elementary school. You can run around the recreational field (with your masks on) or maybe walk around the block a few times. Let her remember what it’s like to see the kids get out of the car and wander off into the care of another adult and then drive home to an empty house. Once she gets there, she can sit at the kitchen table and recall what it was like to use that surface for eating meals instead of teaching common core math she doesn’t understand while trying to participate in a conference call.
Drinking Coffee In A Parking Lot: Is there a mom alive who doesn’t love holding a hot cup of coffee in her hand while staring off into the middle-distance? Maybe she’s used to doing this outside of the local Starbucks. But if she’s wary of getting take-out, just make Mom a hot cup of coffee in her favorite to-go cup and send her to the nearest parking lot. Let her sit there and stare off into space while drinking a beverage that is still hot. Let the caffeine wash over her as she sits in relative silence without anyone touching her. Maybe she’ll have her first complete thought since March. Maybe she won’t want to think about anything at all. That’s her business.
The Daily Commute: All Mom needs for this one are the keys to her car. Send her off to drive to work and back. During that time she can listen to podcasts, sing along to her favorite music or just scream into the void – whatever she normally does.
Gymnastics/Dance/Swim Lessons: No we’re not suggesting she take a class. That would be impossible. But after six weeks of being around the family 24/7, we’re pretty sure Mom longs for those 45-minute chunks of time where she sat in the car outside of Gymnastics World scrolling through Instagram, calling her bestie or playing Words With Friends without someone reaching over, grabbing her phone, and submitting “asfl;ksdhay.”
Sitting In The Driveway: Since Mom probably hasn’t gone anywhere by herself in almost two months, she also hasn’t had the opportunity to sit in the driveway, debating whether or not she wants to go inside. Let her pull the car into the driveway, put it in park, and take a deep, cleansing breath while staring straight ahead. Let her finish listening to the last song on the radio or check her Facebook real quick while she braces herself for the onslaught of questions and commands her kids have been saving for her. The best part of this experience is that you can pair it with any of the ones above or use it as a stand-alone.
About the Author
Ali Hanford is the prep director for an independent radio network and has had her work published on sites like Scary Mommy and Mum.Info under the alias Allie G. When she isn’t being bossed around by her pre-schooler, you can find her seeking contact with other adults on Twitter @ali610.