How to celebrate Mother's Day from 1,000 miles away
When I was growing up, two of my cousins lived on the other side of the world. (At least, in my grandfather’s mind, Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Cairo, Egypt were equally far away from Indiana.) Every time one of them called to chat with my grandfather, he would always end the conversation with the same line, “I love you from a 1,000 miles away.” Now that I’m the cousin living thousands of miles away, I’m faced with that same challenge of showing that I care from so far away.
It’s fair to say that punctuality is not my forte. My mom’s birthday was in late March and she loved my card…once she got it two-and-a-half weeks later. But Mother’s Day this year can be different. I’m prepared this time. I have several more business days to select and ship the perfect gift. If you’re long distance from the mother in your life (whether she’s a grandmother, sister, wife, cousin, mentor, and so on), then this may be just the inspiration you need to craft your own way to say “I love you” this Mother’s Day.
Mail the card a week early (so like, now)
My mom is the primo gift giver. She knows it takes exactly six days for something she mails from Indiana to reach me in California. (See, my mom’s the best.) Armed with her user-tested mail delivery times, I’ll stop by World Market this week, cruise the cards with my 10% coupon in hand, and pick one out either the one with the least words. That way, I can amend the card text to fit my sentiments, in addition to a favorite memory from the year, something I appreciate about my mom, a specific ways she’s supported me, and (spoiler) a doodle of a hummingbird complete with text “not a drill.” Once it’s sealed and ready to go, I’m gonna drop that bad boy in mail, giving the card enough time for USPS to haul it across the Dakotas and to my dog, waiting faithfully to attack the mail as it flies through the mail slot.
Recruit a local
My brother is currently between internships and he’s living at home during this work gap. I looked at online flower delivery prices and gawked. I know it takes $20 and 20 minutes to buy a vase and a gorgeous bunch of roses, trim the stems, and call it a Mother’s Day. This was my go-to move when I lived within driving distance of my mom. Instead of using an internet-based delivery option, I’m going to call my brother and offer him $20 to go halfsies on a bunch of flowers. He knows how to use Google and can figure out how to nicely arrange decently stick them in a vase. If you know any any locals (other parent, neighbor, siblings, friends, etc.) this is a clutch time to utilize their help.
Harness the power of that Internet
Amazon Prime has been my faithful Mother’s Day strategy and it’s worked the past few years. I think of what my mom talks about and consistently it’s an update on the wildlife she sees in the garden or outside of her kitchen window. She loves to try to use her Nikon to take crystal clear photos of hummingbirds. I may not be able to help my mom take photos that aren’t fuzzy (even John Shaw can’t help at this point), but I can attract the hummingbirds for her to attempt to document. Last year I researched plants hummingbirds like. I then bought seeds of those plants on Amazon and had them shipped to my mom along with a decorative green antique bottle hummingbird feeder. She loved it. When I called to check in, she’d count the hummingbirds and tell about the different ones she saw. So this year, it’s Hummingbird Feeder: The Remix. I’m adding to her line of feeders with the same model but in a different color. Bring on the hummingbirds.
Call her, definitely
Last but not least, seal the deal with a phone call. Since my brother’s home, I might even try a Google Hangout, a feat my family successfully accomplished on my mom’s birthday. It was clutch to have my brother home to lead the technology charge. But if your mom has a smartphone and a functioning Google account, there’s a good chance she can figure out how to answer your phone call if you initiate a Google Hangout.
All this reminds me of how much I do love my mom. It’s the least I can do to communicate that I care, whether it’s by words, gifts, or both. I love that I’m 27 and she still mails me Easter candy, sends regular text updates about what the dog’s doing, and complains about being stuck on a level of her smartphone puzzle games. I won’t be able there to give you your hug in person this year, Mom, but I want you to know, I love you from a 1,000 miles away.
Sol Park survived a Hollywood talent desk and now writes for millenials, major retailers, and English teachers. She miss her first orchid (Penelope) and enjoys an afternoon cold brew (coffee, silly).