Handful of Love

Handful of Love

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: A Tribute to Moms

Handful of Love

“It’s going to be Mother’s Day soon,” I was reminded by my five-year-old son, Cody. My thoughts immediately turned to what we could give my mother and mother-in-law, and when would I find the time to go and get it, working full-time and juggling the schedules of three children. Of course, I didn’t have to worry about what my kids were getting for me, for Mother’s Day was the one special day when their daddy was in charge of the gift buying.

Cody, of course, didn’t have to wait for the sacred trip to the Big K or Wal-Mart with Dad. “I made you something for Mother’s Day at school, and it’s beautiful,” Cody continued. “Do you want to know what it is?” I assured him that while I couldn’t wait to see it, I also loved surprises, and maybe he should try and keep it a secret just a few more days. Having had similar conversations with my daughter, Ashley, now fourteen, and other son, Micheal, eleven, I knew this would be pretty tough for my kindergartener.

For the next four days, I got updates on my present on the way home from the babysitter’s place. “The paint’s almost dry,” and “I picked pretty colors for you, Mama,” and “I had to wrap it real careful because it’s ‘fragible.’” Cody could hardly contain his excitement, and I could hardly wait to see it myself!

Finally, Mother’s Day arrived. From my husband, I received one of those mushy, “I-still-adore-you” cards. From Ashley and Micheal, I received hanging flower baskets that looked lovely on our front porch, along with a quirky little card reminding me how boring my life would be without them, not that I needed reminding!

Then it was time for Cody’s gift, which was carefully wrapped in a bright pink package. And what did I receive from Cody? What almost every child has given their Mama at one time or another—a plaster of Paris print of his little hand, painted in an array of lovely colors. I felt the sting of tears behind my eyes, knowing that this would probably be the last little handprint I would be blessed to receive. It was not only the handprint itself, which was precious, but also the love, hard work, and pride found in a small child’s heart to show his Mama how much she is loved.

Debra C. Butler

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