There's something about the Mom creature that inspires the kinds of gifts not always showered upon their Dad counterparts. My Lovely wife and I have been parents exactly the same length of time, yet scattered throughout our house is an inequitable number of artifacts professing love for mother.
I dare to suggest our house is not unique in this way. Tour any home in which children reside and you'll see what I'm talking about. I guarantee, for every "#1 Dad" polyester tie hanging in the back of the closet you'll find seventeen "I Heart Mom" picture frames, three "World's Greatest Mom" coffee mugs, several bracelets sporting representations of the children (complete with matching birthstones), and a blanket covered with screen-printed images of the kids.
In fairness, one year I did receive a sweatshirt with the legend "Dad's Gang" stitched above likenesses of my children. Unfortunately, I'm a displaced Yankee living in North Carolina, so my annual window of opportunity to wear it is only three-and-a-half weeks long.
But you can keep all that Mom-biased, kitschy bric-a-brac that will be stored away in plastic bins on the other side of the basement once the kids go off to college. Of all the arts and crafts projects that have wandered in our door over the past fourteen years, only a few items rightfully deserve their permanent place in the china cabinet.
For starters, there's Bob The Big-Mouth Pirhana, created by the Italian in art class for Mother's Day. It is, without a doubt, the ugliest collision of clay and paint ever created, which is exactly what makes him so grotesquely adorable. The German's variation is strangely similar, just without the three-inch long teeth.
This May, the boys brought home a set of penguins. What penguins have to do with Mother's Day, I don't know. One year earlier they gave their mother Easter-themed bowls that, back in the 1970s, we would have called ash trays. As delightfully nonfunctional and irrelevant to the season as these figurines have been, there is one that holds the tightest grip on our hearts.
As you can guess, My Lovely Wife was presented the adorable angel and I, in what I initially considered a "gotta give Dad something" concession, received Snaily. It seemed fitting. Mom gets an angel -- a representation of peace and love descended from the heavens -- and I get a gastropod. Take away the shell and it's a slug.
But out of the blue, a shower of oohs and aahs issued from My Lovely Wife. Something about Snaily tugged at her heartstrings and she immediately moved beyond coveting straight into laying false claim to my Snaily.
We continue to spar back and forth about Snaily. We often discuss what would become of Snaily should we ever divorce. I argue that since Snaily is mine he should go with me, but she says she'll fight for custody. I remind her, politely of course, it will be a cold day in hell before I agree to relinquish ownership. I guess we'll have to stay together for Snaily's sake.
© 2011 Mark Feggeler