Mom turned old this week. Honestly, she keeps turning old every year, only to redefine what old is and push it back a year. When I look at her, spend time with her, I know what's in store for me in 20, 25, 30 years. I know what I'm going to look like, how I'll walk, how wise I'll be, and, though it's normal to want to be young forever, seeing her makes the years seem almost easy.
I'm loathe these days to purchase gifts for most people, my parents in particular. I know Mom is in a declutter, reduce, simplify phase, much as I am, much as most people are. Overcoming my packrat mentality is not an easy task, so I'm hesitant to contribute to others' piles of stuff.
Since I missed purchasing Mom a Mother's Day, we talked and agreed we would head off to some designer garden store near her when I visited (this was last week), and get her a gift she truly wanted. There were a few pots she'd been eyeing as of late, and giving someone something she wants but wouldn't purchase for herself is giving the perfect gift.
We never made it to the store.
Two or three times in conversation in the first few days I was visiting, Mom or Eric mentioned the vacuum cleaner. In particular, how old and ineffective it had become. They had been looking at new vacuums, but neither was willing to buy a new one, at full retail or sale price. Bunch o' cheapskates (I say in the most loving of terms).
So, breaking from the don't-buy-household-cleaning-items-as-gifts rule, I listened to what Mom and Eric said, found the vacuum cleaner she wanted, and pulled the trigger. Instead of a Mother's Day present, it's now a Mother's Day, birthday, wedding and Christmas present all in one.
Because I'm as cheap as they are.
Mom used it after I had left, and graciously sent me a note after she used it. Her note?