Mother’s Day Mementos

This Sunday, May 14th, is Mother’s Day, and I imagine that millions of little kids will be making something special for their mothers to show their love for them. As mothers, we get bombarded with art projects that are so precious we want to keep them all for eternity. Each has deep meaning for us and marks unique moments and insights into our child’s development. But alas, saving every keepsake for our lifetimes can become difficult.

I’ve got a scrapbook of my favorite pieces of my daughter’s artwork and a few crafts that she made for me remaining where I can visit them. Two favorites are a paperweight and a picture frame she made with plaster, beads, and broken glass. She was about 11 when she made them, and she crafted them in secret in our basement using my art supplies, which she did ask permission to use. I was sternly instructed not to snoop or bother her, and she knew what she was doing. I was shocked when I later learned that she had gotten into the plaster. I suppose she had learned how to mix it by watching me use it. And most miraculously, she never left a mess for me to be concerned with! This was my first clue that she was a fearless artist with clear visions of what she would create and determined not to let things stand in her path. I still have those two gifts, and every time I look at them, I see that delightful little girl and marvel at the wonderful woman she’s become. She’s still determined, creative, fearless, and has a clear vision of what is possible.

Last year, after my mother passed away, I spent several months cleaning out her house and packing up her things. It was such a bittersweet passage—painful to put away her life forever, but so dear in being able to remember her in every space and item. One of the things I came across was a small gift for her that my brother David made in kindergarten. It was a clay sculpture of a seal. It was so primitive and clever – just a simple thick, snake-like lump of clay with a raised head, two eyes, and a crooked smile. The glazing was splotchy white and looked like the fur of a baby seal. This happy little fellow sat in the kitchen window above the sink for a very long time. I would dry dishes for Mom after supper and admire my brother’s handiwork. My mom liked changing the décor in our house each season and often put flowers and pretty little colored glass vases on this same windowsill. But always, the little clay seal would return to his place in the window again and again. And I know this is because she loved it so much. So, as I packed up her possessions, I made sure that the seal was returned to David. I hope he realizes what it meant to her. She cherished and protected it for 52 years.

This month’s book review is for Heart Print: How Not to Foozle Mom’s Gift by my friend, Carrie Sharkey Asner, illustrated by Monika Marzec. It’s about a child who wants to make something extraordinary for her mother. You can read about it under Recommended Reads.

And for a simple but heartwarming Mother’s Day craft, check out my Twine-wrapped Heart Bookmark under the Activities section.

Published by littleseedsread

Hello, my name is Julie Lerczak. For over twenty-five years I worked as an educator in a variety of art, history, and anthropology museums in Illinois, Iowa, and Virginia. Then, for the last five years of my career, I was an environmental educator. I am now retired and am pursuing my dream of being a children's book author. I am a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. I live in Illinois with my husband Tom and our rescued pet turtle "Tootles." When I'm not writing stories I enjoy gardening, painting, making pottery, beekeeping, photography, hiking, and traveling.

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