Elementary school teachers are extremely efficient about getting their students to make Mother’s Day presents for mom. After those formative years, the Mother’s Day present stream runs pretty dry, unless your child happens to get art class as an elective spring quarter.
For the past three Mother’s Days, my children wish me a Happy Mother’s Day followed by glances down at the floor, awkward shuffling of feet, and a mumbled, “I didn’t get you anything.”
“That’s no problem, sweetie. You can clean the garage for me!”
Any other time of year, cleaning the garage would be met with massive teenage-groaned resistance and copious excuses. This is probably why the garage is so dusty, cobwebby and cluttered by May. But the power of Mother’s Day gift shaming pulls them in the garage. The cement floors are swept and MOPPED, spider mansions are dismantled, old frisbees are pitched into the trash and outgrown bicycles are set on the curb with a ‘Free’ sign.
The result- a beautiful garage to last me through the year.