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Sonoma Family Life Magazine

I Hope You’ll Always Talk to Me About Your Day (But Please Learn to Do Your Own Laundry)

By Katy M. Clark

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 is different.

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. I hope that:

I will always have a full pack of gum from which you can mooch.

My front seat continues to be a welcoming place for you to sit and chat with me.

We will 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.)

You will always want to tell me about whom you eat lunch with at school.

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.

I will always have enough snacks for you in the pantry. And may I continue to remember to buy two pounds of meat, instead of one, for recipes. You definitely have a much bigger appetite these days.

I can encourage you to be your best in whatever role your coach feels is right for you.

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

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.

It will continue to be easy between you and me when I tease you about those girls you message on Snapchat.

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. They mean the world to me.

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.

Katy M. Clark is a writer who celebrates her imperfections as a mom at