Yesterday was my mom’s birthday. She turned 80 or 81, depending on how you count the years. In the evening, I took a break from making dinner to call her up to wish her happy birthday. “Why are you calling? You already sent a card and gift,” she said. “I read that it’s better to eat dinner around 6pm so you can digest better. You should be cooking and eating dinner now. You and Rory eat tend to eat late.”
“But we also stay up late and wake up late,” I said. Moms can be hard to please and over the years, I’ve come to realize that simple things tickle mine the most. She loves sentimental-but-not-sappy cards. My mom isn’t a totally Hallmark-card kind of woman. She wants things sincere and genuine. I’ve learned not to buy her big ticket items because (1) I can’t afford them and (2) even if I could afford them, she’d just squirrel them away somewhere and not use it.
Instead, I get my mom cooking tools that I know she can really use. They are things that I use in my own kitchen most often. Sure there are misses that disappear into her pantry or garage; she found little use for the Mr. Spring Roll rice paper dipper. Then there are winners. My mom recently told me how much she appreciated certain practical and affordable kitchen tools that I’ve gifted her over the years.