Mother’s Day Rocks

Every Mother’s Day I get a rock. I’m not talking about the kind that’s weighed in carats or set in sterling silver. I’m talking about the ordinary, igneous or sedimentary garden-variety rock.


Oh sure, sometimes they are painted green or disguised as paperweights. Sometimes they have googly eyes or are covered with glitter, but I’m not fooled. I can tell it’s still a rock.


A recent survey concluded that what women really want for Mother’s Day is jewelry. Duh. The same highly scientific survey also discovered that what we don’t want is anything related to housework. Double duh. Last year, my husband gave me a Swiffer. I wore it on a chain around my neck.


I don’t think he got the hint.


He’s the kind of guy who says “You’re not my mother,” and leaves the Mother’s Day gift ideas up to the kids. That’s why I get rocks.


Of course, the first time your preschooler hands you a lump of decorated granite and lisps “Happy Muvver’s Day,” it’s pretty sweet.


I know I got all misty and Hallmark-mommyish when my son gave me my first rock, err … I mean “paperweight.” It was apparent that he had worked hard at the Sunshine Nursery School gluing and painting.


“This is beautiful!” I exclaimed. “I’ll put it on my desk and keep it forever. How did you know this is exactly what I wanted for Mother’s Day? You painted it all by yourself? You glued the little plastic eyes and sprinkled on all the glitter? I love it!”


I guess I was pretty convincing, because the next year I got another rock, only this one didn’t have googly eyes or glitter.


“This is great! I don’t have a blue one. I could really use another paperweight!”


When he was in kindergarten, I got another rock.


And one the next year …


And another one the year after that. It was apparent that his artistic efforts were beginning to erode.


“This is the prettiest rock I’ve ever seen. I’m glad that you didn’t paint it or anything because it has such nice natural colors.”


And another one the next year.


“Wow! This rock is huge. I’ll bet if I brushed the dirt off, it would make a great doorstop.”


Last year, as I lay in bed on Mother’s Day morn, my husband brought me a cup of coffee and my son, Lewis, balanced a plate of toast on the nightstand.


“Happy Mother’s Day,” he announced without even the trace of a lisp.


“Thank you, sweetie,” I said and took a charred bite.


Suddenly, he looked panic stricken, dashed out of the bedroom and galloped down the stairs. “I’ll be right back,” he called and the front door slammed.


I could hear him digging in the yard. He could have discovered diamonds or unearthed emeralds or uncovered buried treasure, but instead he found the perfect rock.


Carol Band is a freelance writer and mother of three. Send her an email at This article was previously published in the May 2006 issue of Boston Parents Paper.

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25 Apr 2016

By Carol Band