If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of feeling like a bad daughter or son for Googling, “When is Mother’s Day? Did I miss it? Will my inheritance take a hit for this oversight?” and being confronted by a date in May that’s always much sooner than you expected, let me be the one to tell you that Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 10th. If your mom is anything like mine in that the two things that make her most happy in the world are having less knick-knacks to dust and thinking about her retirement spent raising my future children, finding the perfect gift for the woman who literally will not accept anything you spent money on can be tough. But I’m not going to tell you what to get this year. Chances are, you’ve got a valid 20% off Bed, Bath, and Beyond coupon, and come Sunday your dear ma is going to be the new owner of the latest Keurig – the very one she once claimed “is probably an expensive hunk of junk just like the printer with all those damn replacement ink cartridges.” A comparison that only a mother could make.

But perhaps more than a Keurig, an expensive necklace with stick figure birthstone children on it, or and edible arrangement whose surprising inclusion of mango will be make your mom more emotional than Bruce Jenner’s interview, mom’s deserve a little appreciation for all that they do. They’re supportive, patient, and selfless. Who else besides your mother will ever be to say you’ve lived in her womb and in her basement? With that in mind, let’s a take a second to appreciate all the little things moms do that make them who they are so you can thank your mother for one of the things below.

1. Moms will always remind you of your most embarrassing moments during times of great joy.

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Are you graduating? Getting engaged? Earning a promotion? Having a nice day? If answered yes to any of these questions, call your mother. While you’re excitedly chatting about your new apartment or the hundred dollar bill you found on the subway (just kidding, no one carrying hundred dollar bills is on the subway – you probably found a puddle of urine that you thought was a hundred dollar bill), your mom will interrupt with what you think is some important announcement about her health or the status of the neighbor’s husband who had a stroke three months ago: “You know what was I thinking about the other day while I was plotting world domination? Do you remember that time you had an accident in first grade, and when you got the nurse’s office you said you sat on a brownie? You smelled so bad, and no one believed you. Now what’s this about an investment that just made you a million dollars? I bet even a million dollars wouldn’t be enough to make that nurse believe you didn’t poop your pants if you went back in a time machine to when you pooped your pants in first grade, but go on, sweetie.”

2. No good mother will let you live your life with an extra of everything.

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If moms had their way, every child would have a house that they live in and a house just full of spare everything. An extra umbrella. A spare winter coat. Scissors. Shoes in every style. PLASTIC BAGS. Once you’ve given birth, you move into the “just in case” universe, where it makes sense to spend money on things you don’t need “just in case.” Because what will happen if you don’t always have a tissue with you? Or a little flashlight? Or a pound of frozen ground beef?

3. Moms will never let you forget that kid from elementary school who moved away in fourth grade.

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Moms have a lot to keep track of – like the software upgrade notification that’s been sitting untouched on the computer for two days because they thought it was one of those viruses hiding in a big horse – and they may sometimes forget to respond to that text message you sent, but you know who they never have and never will forget? Tommy Tibetanstein from Miss Barandes’s fourth grade homeroom. Your memory of Tommy is foggy. You never went to any of his birthday parties (thereby proving you weren’t friends), and you can’t even picture his face anymore. You think he might’ve kicked you on the monkey bars once—but no matter. Your mom inexplicably remembers that he moved away in fourth grade, and she also knows some private detail about his family, because apparently moms divulge everything standing on the sidelines at the playground: “I remember his mother [note: when moms talk about other kids’ moms, they refer to them only as “_____’s mother”] told me their aunt is a fugitive. She’s wanted in Indiana for killing a man in Indiana for being a man from Indiana.”

4. Moms will provide a full report on anything that has worn out. Ever.

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Moms become experts in a lot of fields like diaper changing and spawn philanthropy, but their true métier is remarking on how things have worn out. Remember that favorite pair of shoes you had in high school that you wore every single day until your mom picked your right shoe up one day, studied the sole, and confronted you: “You need a new pair of shoes! Do you see how the design on the sole is worn out here, here, and…HERE? And look at the inside! See how the fabric is wearing out? There’s going to be a hole soon.” If anything wore out too soon or in an unexpected way (remember that remote with the power button that didn’t hold up?), moms will bring it to your attention.

5. Moms can simultaneously complain about you being a financial burden while also refusing to let you pay for anything.

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Kids are expensive, and at a certain point in your life, you have to forgive your mother for some gentle ribbing about your history of glomming off of her and jeopardizing her future retirement at Del Boca Vista, but what’s perhaps most maddening is that while moms are snarking about how expensive you are/were, they also will not accept any repayment of any kind. Bought her a wallet she liked? “Let me give you the money for that. How much was it?” Take her out to a nice dinner? “I’m not letting you pay for that. I’ll give you the money in the car.” Buy her an electronic device that will improve her quality of life? “That’s too much. I don’t need that.” It’s a never-ending cycle of guilt and rebuffed generosity with moms.

But really, give your mom a call this Mother’s Day, and maybe this time bring up the pants-pooping accident or the whereabouts of Tommy Tibetanstein yourself, because we all know the conversation is probably going to end up there anyway.

8 thoughts on “5 Often Forgotten Things To Thank Mom For This Mother’s Day

  1. Kudos for using the word ‘métier’! My mother is so easy to shop for that I’m continually finding fabulous things she would love, which I naturally acquire. It’s also part of the gift to make sure I spent as little as possible for the item so she doesn’t feel bad accepting it. Kate Spade heels for $5? Excellent! So for her, Mother’s Day is most every day, as I give her stuff all year round. Personally, I think I lucked out in the parent lottery so to pay back this supreme gift of fate, I try to be the best daughter I can be. I loved your shrewd observations about mothers in general and agree most every occasion in life merits a phone call to your mom.

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