February ~ that short, sweet month when all hearts focus on love (or the pitiable lack thereof). They say the proof of love is in the pudding. Or the flowers. Or the candy. Or maybe even...
The coupons. I have a file folder full of coupons given to me through the years by our daughters. There are no expiration dates on the acts of love decoratively written on paper as presents, so maybe it's time for me to be thinking about calling some of them in. Here is a sampling...
*This coupon entitles you to one free van cleaning, inside and out. Happy Mother's Day!
Slight problem. We no longer own a van. If I white-out the word 'van' and marker in the word, 'car', do you think my daughter would notice?
*Official Coupon for Back Massage! This coupon is valid for 2 free back massages!
Oh, yeah, my back is in sore need of these all the time. Back then I didn't need them so much. Now I'm old. And I need them.
*For Mom: 7 complain-free days (can't be all 7 in a row)
I guess it's impossible to not complain for more than 24 hours at a time. I know. I've tried.
*5 Free Foot Rubs! W/ lotion if desired
Oh, yeah, my feet are in sore need of these all the time. Back then I didn't need them so much. Now I'm old. And I need them.
*6 chores or favors for free!
I wonder why coupons always specify 'free'. If I have to pay for it, it wouldn't be a gift.
*Mom, you won't have to bug me to do these things for you (each thing 25 times) (expires when you go to heaven): free dessert (you provide the stuff); free foot rubs; free meal maker (you provide the stuff); free back rubbing; your scarlet oak put in this week, guaranteed.
Kids don't like it when Mom bugs them, but I think it's in the job description. I imagine I'll be bugging them until I go to heaven, which is obviously when the coupon expires anyway. I die, I go to heaven, I quit bugging. Works for me! And yes, the scarlet oak did get planted, so at least one thing on this coupon was fulfilled. The other things (each thing 25 times!) are still pending.
I don't know why I never used these coupons. Maybe the sweet spirit in which they were given was gift enough. Maybe the guilt at turning my little girls into slave labor in order to complete all these tasks would have kept me up at night (thus negating all the positives received). Or maybe, just maybe, I didn't want to turn in the coupons and never see them again. There's something precious and timeless about my daughters' hands and hearts revealed on these little slips of paper that I want to keep around for a while. Or a long time. Or at least until I go to heaven.