The Best Mother’s Day Gift Ever

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So what is it, you ask?

It is my Mother’s Day gift, one of the best most thoughtful gifts I’ve ever received. It’s from my daughters, Lindsay and Sarah.

On each tiny scroll in the bottle, a message is written, a “positive thought”, such as “if you want light to come into your life, you need to stand where it is shining.” I’ve only unrolled one so far, so I don’t know what other messages the bottle holds. I can’t wait to find out! But I’m going to pace myself.

These are the same daughters who made bird’s nest necklaces for me, three of them, each fashioned out of silver wire spun into nests and fitted out with three or four colourful little eggs. Because I am, you know, the momma bird. Another time, there was a set of three “Mr. Sticky” lint-rollers, which was such a ridiculously perfect gift for me that I laughed until the tears rolled down my face, and then, of course, I yanked off the cover and lint-rolled every inch of cat-fur-covered couch in the house. There was the battery-operated cat brush with the built-in vacuum, which works quite well so long as you give the cats a bit of space before you fire up the suction. And, of course, the massive home made card that I loved so much that I plastered it right over top of a Van Gogh print hanging over my bed. For a year.

I was so excited by this year’s Positive Thoughts that I took a picture and texted it to my sister.

“Wow what a great gift!” she wrote back. “You’ve taught them well.”

I’m not sure about the last part, but I do come from a family of thoughtful gift-givers. My father will twist himself into a knot trying to come up with just the right present for my mother. My mother never lets a birthday pass without a thoughtful card and gift. My sister wraps presents with such artfulness and care that the wrapping alone stands as an act of love. My daughters have apparently inherited this gift gene, and their Bottle ‘o’ Positive Thoughts illustrates that they have figured out the key to a great gift: knowing someone well and expressing that knowledge with resourcefulness and creativity.

Sounds like a tall order?

It is a tall order.

To pull it off as often as they have over the years is a remarkable feat.

Consider this: apart from the research, and bottle shopping, and painting, they had to find fifty, fifty, little sayings, then type them up, print them off, cut them into strips and roll them into tight little scrolls, which they then tied with short bits of embroidery thread, in two shades of blue. Blue. My favourite colour.  And according to Lindsay, Sarah really cracked the whip about getting the scrolls tied up tightly.

I can’t imagine how long all of that took.

Their investment of time and energy is one thing. That they know me so well is another. I mean look at my writing desk, people:


I have been clipping and saving favourite sayings since I was in high school, cutting quotes out of magazines or jotting down favourites on any scrap of paper I could find. In law school, I turned the surface of my kitchen table into a montage of my favourites, and it gave me a lift every time I looked at it, transforming into a pedestrian piece of university furniture into something that was interesting and meaningful. Nourishing.

I felt nourished on Mother’s Day and I feel nourished every time I look at the heart-shaped bottle with its tiny scrolls. It, too, sits on my writing desk. And now, once a week, for the next fifty weeks, I’ll be able to add a new Positive Thought to my collection. And if that isn’t the Best Mother’s Day Gift Ever, then I don’t know what is.

Oh, and one more thing: “you can only cross the ocean if you have the courage to lose sight of the shore”. Yup, that’s right. The Message from a Bottle.