I know better than to expect a handmade card from you this year. Or a necklace made out of macaroni noodles or a stone painted with the words, “Mom, you rock!” After all, you are in high school.

I will always treasure those cards and gifts from when you were younger, but what I wish for on Mother’s Day now that you are a teen has changed.

So, as you roll out of bed, probably forgetting about my special day even though your dad reminded you at least once, let me share what I want for Mother’s Day.

These are the gifts that would mean the world to me this Mother’s Day:

• That I may always have a full pack of gum from which you can mooch.

• That my front seat continues to be a welcoming place for you to sit and chat with me, with plenty of legroom as you keep growing.

• That we always bond over our cat, talking to her in baby voices and cracking each other up. (You could step it up in the litter box cleaning department, though.)

• That you will always want to tell me about who you eat lunch with at school.

• That I can help you with your Language Arts homework when you ask because you know it was my strongest subject and it’s not yours.

• That I always have enough snacks for you in the pantry, and that I remember to buy two pounds of meat, instead of one, for recipes. You definitely have a bigger appetite these days.

• That I can encourage you to be your best in whatever role your coach feels is right for you, forgetting about playing time and focusing on teamwork and skill development.

  That I relax about how much you enjoy Fortnite and other     video games, savoring the time you are in my house and
under my roof even as you scamper through a virtual world.

  That I continue to bring you a bowl of cereal in the morning as you fall back asleep on the couch before school. It’s a little thing you could do for yourself, but I don’t mind.

• That it will continue to be easy between you and me
when I tease you about those girls you message on

• That I have the agility to dodge the laundry you leave on your bedroom floor and the patience to teach you – again – how to fold clothes and put them away.

Okay, I see your face. You are wondering how you can wrap any of these “gifts” or if I’m serious about them at all.

Please know that I am.

But don’t worry about getting me everything. The truth is that I’ve already received the greatest gift this Mother’s Day: The gift to be your mom, especially during these teen years.

Stop making that face. I’m serious.

And yes, you can have a piece of gum. It’s in my purse.

You know where.