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What do you want for Mother's Day?

Word to the wise

Posted: May 9, 2008 6:37 p.m.
Updated: July 12, 2008 5:04 a.m.

'What do you want for Mother's Day?" I asked my wife earlier this week. "I don't need anything," she said. "Do you want to do something for Mother's Day?" I asked. "Anything you want to do, we'll do it."

"I don't need to do anything," she said. Then, the great wife and mother that she is, never thinking of herself and always thinking of others, asked, "What do you want to do?"

"I want to do something you want to do, not something I want to do. What could we all do as a family that would make you feel appreciated as a mother?"

My wife was stumped. She honestly couldn't think of one thing she wanted for Mother's Day.

"How about a facial or a massage?" I suggested. "You really enjoyed that facial and massage you got after the baby was born."

"Wow, remember that?" she asked me. "Can you believe that was almost five years ago? Remember how we used to stand over his crib after he was born and watch him sleep for hours?"

"Yeah, I remember that," I said. And believe me, I remember it so well because we would stay there for hours watching our son sleep. He was more entertaining than any movie or TV program. He was a sleeping baby, and one who never moved in his sleep, yet we couldn't take our eyes off the little guy.

We'd say, "Look how his little belly moves when he breathes." Our friends - who weren't parents - used to tell us, "Yeah, that's how people stay alive. They breathe." My wife was lost in reminiscence at this point.

"Remember how our baby used to make us sit in front of the grocery store and watch the automatic doors open and close?" my wife asked me.

Of course I remember that. We used to get stuck at those doors for what seemed to be an eternity. Once someone approached and the doors automatically opened, then we had to stay there until the doors closed. And if we didn't leave before someone else came along and triggered the doors to open, our son made us wait until the doors closed and stayed closed. I ask you, how can you deny the little guy that simple pleasure?

So there we sat in front of our nearby grocery store on many occasions for days on end (our nearby store is open 24 hours a day), watching people go in and out of the building, the doors opening and closing. And when there was a break in the line of people, and the doors remained closed, our son would finally say, "Okay, we can go home now." And we went home.

My wife paused for a moment, taking great pleasure in remembering that scene.

Then she moved on to the next topic, which certainly wasn't the Mother's Day topic I had initially brought up. "Remember when our baby thought you were the guy on the Brawny paper towels' package?"

Yes, my son actually thinks I look like the Brawny paper towel guy. And hey, if he wants to believe that I look like that big, tough, muscle-bound dude, heck, I'm not going to shatter his image of me. "Sure, that's me on the paper towel wrapper," I tell the boy. "Look at my muscles. Look how tough I am. Don't mess with me, buddy."

Totally lost in thoughts of our son, my wife obviously needed redirection. I brought up Mother's Day again, and asked what she wanted - again. "And I don't want to hear, 'I don't need anything,'" I said.

My wife thought about it for a little more than a minute, and then she finally answered the question with another question. "How about Disneyland?" "You're not even that big of a fan of Disneyland," I said. Great mother that she is, she said, "Yeah, but our baby loves it."

To all mothers out there who are equally unselfish, and who are totally caring for their children in the same way, you deserve a very happy Mother's Day. Enjoy!

Michael Picarella is a Valencia resident and a proud husband and father. His column reflects his own opinion, not necessarily that of The Signal. Picarella can be e-mailed at To read more of his stories, go to


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