|Gabriella & her boys|
When Mother’s Day rolls around, we read from roughly the same script every year.
Deborah: Mother’s Day is coming up. Let’s just ignore it, ok?More often than not, we ignore our agreement and pick up a little something to present on the day anyway – a token of love to say that we’re not completely void of feeling but nothing significant enough to make the other person feel guilty in case she does, in fact, make the conscious decision to negate all that other does for her children every day.
Gabriella: Good idea.
Deborah: We only cancel each other out, anyway.
Deborah: I’d say we could agree to exchange cards with our own heartfelt sentiments, but I know that you’d rather eat jarred spaghetti sauce than put pen to paper.
Gabriella: Let’s not get crazy.
*For my peasant wife from the hills of Sicily who doesn’t eat anything she can’t prepare from scratch, eating jarred sauce is sinful transgression and a shanda of the highest order.
Deborah: You want to let me sleep in?
Gabriella: Uh, you want to let ME sleep in?
Deborah: We have to get Asher to Sunday school at the crack of ass anyway. If Jews loved their Jewish mothers, they’d deliver us all brunch baskets on Mother’s Day and pick up the kids for Sunday school at the same time they drop off bagels, tuna, rugelach…
Gabriella: and bloody marys.
Deborah: mmmmm, bloody marys…
Gabriella: So no cards.
Deborah: And no gifts.
Being the housebound mom with a flexible schedule and a minivan, you’d think I’d be able to scrape something up for Gabriella. I’m also the one who has access to the kids all week. If I were a creative and thoughtful mom, I’d take them to a studio where they could paint a ceramic platter or I could have them decorate flowerpots and plant flowers or herbs (cooking herbs, of course). Then again, Gabriella’s got platters and pots up the wazoo (that’s a colloquial term synonymous with up the trapdoor).
The thought of putting in that much effort makes me resentful and grumpy – more so than usual. It’s a fine line between love and bitter obligation on Mother’s Day for two mothers. Guess that would make it Mothers’ Day though it’s a day for all mothers and should be Mothers’ Day, anyway.
“So, what to gift?” I ask myself each year. And each year, I ignore me and find myself scrambling for the perfect something only to eventually procure the satisfactory something at the last minute. “I’ll do better next year,” I tell myself only to ignore me once again.
This year, however, as I was about to trip into the Pit of Procrastination on my way to the town of Best Intentions, manna fell from heaven in the form of a Snapfish Photo Book! Snapfish offered me a chance to try out the new Mother’s Day designs to create a Mother’s Day gift. Here was the answer to all my Two-Mothers-Mothers’ Day-Conundrums. I could get the kids to help me create an artful book with minimal effort. Minimal effort. How that roles off the tongue! Yes, I’m getting a few shekels to have my way with photo book templates, but I am a firm believer in keeping shtum if you don’t have anything nice to say – sponsorship or not. It just so happens, I’ve got lots to say.
I’ll admit to you that before I even got to the Snapfish site, I was feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of creating something. I don’t like to learn new things or make mistakes or produce anything that is less than perfect. I’d rather buy a ready-made gift and spare myself the agony of design anxiety. It didn’t take long for me to learn that the Snapfish photo book is incredibly easy to make. “START HERE” directs a yellow arrow to my first step. But even before I STARTED THERE, I took advantage of the online tour, outlining the process simply and clearly in a matter of minutes. I took note of the link to chat with someone should I need help, but I felt secure enough to dive right in.
7 things I appreciated about the Snapfish Photo Book experience:
1. There are many stylized and elegant templates and page layouts to choose from but not so many that I felt overwhelmed. I chose Linen for Mom.
2. I liked that I could view examples of books created by Snapfish users, which gave me ideas for my own book.
3. The site is organized clearly and intuitively so that I was able to finish my book quickly without getting lost hunting for instructions or toggling between pages.
4. You can be as hands on as you like. Snapfish provides an option to take all of your uploaded photos and organize all your photos for you or you can design each page yourself.
5. Every few minutes, Snapfish saved my work automatically, which allowed to me breathe a little easier as I created my masterpiece.
6. Before I ordered my book for Gabriella, I could see the finished product as if it were right in front of me, flipping each page for inspection and admiring the elegant Mothers’ Day gift I had created.
7. The boys were able to participate without mess or fuss. They helped me select photos and provided copy and counted photos to make sure they were equally represented throughout the book. I’m pretty sure they’d be able to make their own book next time with little guidance from me. They can’t wait for Mommy to see what we made for her.
I’ll always become a bit twitchy around anything that is remotely crafty, but I will confess to you that this project was, dare I say, fun and surprisingly enlightening. All my grumblings about getting the short end of the stick on Mothers’ Day prevented me from looking at us as our children do. We are not a pair of moms but two individuals who love and parent distinctly. In making this photo book specifically for Gabriella, I realized that it is essential not to cancel each other out because we are two mothers on Mothers’ Day but to celebrate and honor the special relationship we each have with our boys.
I hope you’re inspired to have a go on Snapfish for someone you love this Mothers’ Day. I bet you’ll find just as much pleasure in the making as she will in the gift itself.
This post is sponsored by Snapfish as part of their support of the LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER SHOW 2012 series of Mother’s Day performances. I am reading at the New York City show on Sunday, May 6th.