I was driving to work a couple of weeks ago and happened to click on a local radio station. One of the station talk show hosts was talking about the “Question of the Day.” Apparently, listeners were supposed to call in with their thoughts and responses. I listened with some interest and then heard the question:
“If you could spend an entire day alone together with your mother, what would you do?”
What a great question.
The questioner didn’t add in any conditions, such as having unlimited money or being in full health or living close to each other – just the question.
I like good questions.
Then the host shared her own thoughts on this and said that it was drawn from a question-and-answer game she had played with her adult siblings. This was the question she had been asked to answer, and she had found herself unable to answer the question without emotion because it made her think so much. In a family of five children, she could not think back and remember a day that she’d ever had alone to herself with just she and her mother. That made her sad and it also made her think really hard about that question.
A Day to Yourself with Mom
First of all, I think the concept itself is just such a great one. So simple. What would it mean to be able to have a day to yourself with your mother? Think about it. The answers will vary for each person. But to me, the idea is to think about what you would do if you could have a day to yourself with your mother and you tried to make it a positive, meaningful and memorable day together.
As listeners called into the radio show, they also shared their thoughts and experiences with much emotion and tenderness. It was surprising to hear so much attentiveness to things of the heart and what truly matters on an early-morning drive-time radio show. But it demonstrated that the question had struck a nerve with listeners in a major way.
Many who called in to the show commented that they would simply spend the day telling and sharing stories. Many wanted to sit on the couch and have their mother reminisce about her life and experiences. Others wanted to go out to lunch, shop together, look at memory books, or do other meaningful things.
Again, the question made me think. What would I do if I had a day to myself with my mother?
Luckily, my mother came to town only a few days later and so we had a chance to explore this question.
Reminiscing and Brainstorming a Day with Mom
When my mother came to town, we sat down and I asked her this same question one evening. I asked her what she would do if she had a single day to spend by herself with just her mother. Her answer was tender and fascinating.
She commented that she would make sure to just spend some time and have her mother reminisce and share stories of her own experiences growing up.
She noted that she would spend time at the piano with her mother and visiting about her experiences with music, as her mother spent a lifetime in conducting choral groups and teaching music.
She shared that they would spend time walking in the pine forests in the White Mountains of Arizona, where both she and her mother had grown up and spend time and loved their early years.
I am still trying to figure out, of all the possible choices, what exactly I would choose to do with my mother if we had a day to spend together. Making my mom’s wonderful cherry pie recipe together comes to mind. Nobody makes a cherry pie like Mom.
Since I have access to the wisdom, insight, and imagination of the Meridian readership, I’m going to ask you to help me develop and share some ideas in this area. The challenge is below.
Three Ideas on Spending a Day Together with Mom
I would like Meridian readers to share ideas and experiences on spending a day together, just you and your mother, and what you have done or might do in three ways. Then I’ll share in future columns.
Top 100 Ideas for Spending a Day Together with Mom
First of all, I like “cheat sheets” like “Ten Great Dates in Your Area,” so I don’t have to be caught with no good ideas when the weekly date with my wife opportunity comes along. So, let’s create a list we’ll call the “Top 100 Ideas for Spending a Day Together with Mom.”
Don’t feel compelled to send 100 ideas yourself, though you certainly can if you’d like. But if a lot of you share a few great and creative ideas, then I think we could come up with 100 ideas. Kids would come up with great ideas here, too. This is a good Family Home Evening Activity. So, you send me the ideas and I’ll compile them, then share them with all of you.
Spending a Day with Mom – Your Experience
My guess is that dozens and even hundreds of you have already seen the wisdom and fun of doing something like spending a day by yourself with Mom, and so you probably already have experiences and ideas to share. You have done this. You have stories to tell and experiences to pass along. We bless each other as we share what works in a meaningful way in our lives and relationships.
So, if you have the time, drop me a note at [email protected]“>[email protected] and share your experience in spending a day together with mom. It’s a way to celebrate mothers and time with them. I will also compile these experiences and put them in a future column. Try to respond in the next ten days so we can share these during the holiday season.
The Holiday Gift – A Day with Mom
The final idea is to suggest that perhaps one of the most meaningful gifts you can give this coming holiday season is this-a day alone to yourself with your mother.
Impossible, you might say. I have too much to do. I have too many kids to chase after. I have too many gifts to buy.
Keeping it all in perspective means that sometimes we put everything down, look into the eyes of the ones we love, and say, “Let’s spend some time together today – what do you want to do?”
So, I propose that you give the gift this season, to yourself and your mother, of a day alone together where you plan and do something that you will enjoy and remember. It can happen during the Christmas season. It can happen as a gift that you promise at Christmas for the coming year (try this once a month and see what happens). But try it. Enjoy it.
And, if you happen to do this during the coming weeks, feel free to write and share your holiday gift experience with the rest of us. I promise to pass it along.
A Final Thought
You never know what might happen when you and your mother decide to spend a day together. A few years ago we asked my mother how she’d like to spend her birthday. The first item on the agenda for that day was an early-morning ride in a hot air balloon, and the agenda only got more exciting from there. So, it can get exciting.
Many of us may not have a mother to share such a day with at this point in our lives. Possibly, our mothers have passed on and we can only reflect on what we might do. Perhaps difficult relationships or other circumstances make this an idea that you cannot pursue. Yet, you might have many ideas to share with the rest of us. And you may be able to find a mother, not your own, who would benefit from and love the enjoyment of a day together with someone who loves them.
Spend a day together with mom, if you can, and share your ideas. If God’s main activity is blessing us, perhaps to spend a day blessing each other is not too much to ask.