When I was little, a “lonely only” (just my mama and me for a long time), I think I realized we didn’t have a lot of money. But, boy, we were rich in all the ways that mattered.
I still have the giant stocking she sewed for me when I was a baby and filled to the brim each year by scrimping and saving all year and hiding things in her closet. If my house were burning down and everyone was safe, it’d be one of the first things I’d grab to save. My birthday and Christmas gifts were few and usually not expensive, but they were thoughtful and wrapped more prettily than any department store could ever manage.
Tonight I wrapped Christmas Eve PJs for my tinies–something my mom did for me every single year even after I went to college. They are in brown paper packages tied up with string, because she would still sing “that” song to me at night even though I was too old and I know she must have been bone- and brain-tired and ready for her girl to just sleep.
And now, though my children are living a childhood life completely unlike mine, I am hoping beyond hope that sometime, someday, these little traditions mean as much to them as they’ve meant to me, especially since becoming a mother.
I hope that, even in the absence of extravagantly expensive gifts, these humble little packages feel like warm, free hugs: a reminder of just how very much my heart bursts with love for them.
And for my Mommers. This year, and always, she is one of my favorite things.
Leyna Williams is an attorney who works at home for three demanding bosses. She writes in her free moments to maintain her sanity and currently spends zero time practicing law (unless you count mediating custody conflicts over Legos and the last piece of bubblegum).