On a Mother’s Day weekend when our children were younger, I found myself without a gift for my precious bride, Elaine.
Rivergate Mall was still a vibrant option, so I put our daughter Sarah in her car seat and off we went to find a gift for “the practically perfect in every way” mom.
When we got to the mall, we found that each store had been picked over and nothing really stood out in our eyes to buy for Mother’s Day. It seemed we were destined for an unmemorable purchase. Sarah, the ever obedient preschooler, held my hand and worked her pacifier like baby Maggie on The Simpsons. She seldom spoke that day as she took in all the sights and sounds.
As a last ditch effort, we ventured into Kirkland’s. I had found some prints there in the past that Elaine approved of so maybe we would find something this time. We were running out of options, and the day was growing short.
Finally, we stumbled on an interesting print. In the picture there was a dark-haired little boy and a blonde little girl. A flower pot had been turned over and broken. The children were sheepishly looking at the pot. They seemed too frightened to clean it up or flee the crime scene. The boy and girl reminded me of our children, Timothy David and Sarah Kathryn.
I thought this would be a great time to test Sarah’s critical thinking skills. As we stood there I said, “Baby Bird, who do you think broke the pot, the little boy or the little girl?” She stared with intense concentration as she chewed her pacifier. I waited patiently for an answer I began thinking would never come. As I started to walk away, Sarah took the pacifier out and looked at me with a grin that has always delighted me and uttered these touching words, “The Daddy did it.” I quickly asked the clerk to wrap the print. We had our present.
Elaine hung the print in our hallway, where it has remained for over 20 years. I always smile when I take the time to look at it and remember that Saturday before Mother’s Day many years ago.
Steve Haley spent his childhood in Guthrie, Ky. during the 1960s and 1970s. He loves to recount the stories of his extraordinary ordinary upbringing in a small Southern town with his many friends. If you have any comments or suggestions you can email him at Setsof4Haley@ATT.Net or call/text him at 615.483.2573.