Giving Mom A Great Gift

Sometimes, it’s not a bad thing to put off getting a Mother’s Day gift until the last minute. It gives you time to come up with the perfect present.

It came to me Thursday night, while I was watching a softball game between two teams of little girls. My, were they having fun! A glance at the bleachers revealed lots of dads and moms enjoying the game, too.

But there are moms (and dads) who can’t enjoy the pleasure most of us take for granted — of their children whacking a softball hard, then sprinting for first base, of little girls learning to play basketball and little boys achieving the lifelong skill or knowing how to ride a bike.

Some of these moms and dads have children whose physical or other challenges make it difficult or impossible for them to enjoy activities our kids — and we — take for granted.

Mention that to the mom in your life and watch the look of hurt on her face.

Here’s the thing: Mothers’ first priority is their children (and grandchildren), of course. But something about giving birth to a child seems to make quite a lot of women into universal moms. Their mothering instinct kicks in whenever they see any child. You’ve seen it, dad, when you have to grab your wife’s arm one second after she spots a little child wandering around, unaccompanied, in a store. “His mom will be right here,” you say, and sure enough, there she comes.

It happened that on Friday, I noticed a story we’d published that day about an outfit called Variety, based in Wexford, Pa. Variety, which calls itself “the children’s charity,” had partnered with WesBanco Arena to provide special bicycles, strollers, communications devices, etc., to children with disabilities.

An eight-year-old Wheeling girl was among those receiving a new adaptive bike. The grin on her face as she rode it reminded me of, well, the kids I’d seen playing softball.

Her mother was smiling just as broadly.

And — Eureka! — there it was: the perfect Mother’s Day present.

Find an organization that does nice things for children, write them a check, and stick a note describing what you did in a card for the mom(s) on your list today. Heck, there’s still time to do it today, without leaving the house.

There are lots of possibilities: The Special Wish folks, groups such as Bethlehem Temple in Wheeling, Toys for Tots and Shop With a Cop, etc. There’s even the Miracle League of the Ohio Valley, which specializes in helping those with physical challenges enjoy baseball (and, I think, softball). There are many other programs to help children, including those whose families can’t afford all the nice things most kids enjoy.

Pick one, make out the check, then write the note and watch your favorite mom’s face light up when she reads it.

Guaranteed.

Flowers, candy, jewelry and special Mother’s Day lunches are nice. But — trust me on this — indulging your favorite mom’s universal motherhood instinct is even better.

P.S. ­– Don’t forget Father’s Day is coming up in a few weeks. Dads (and granddads) like to see smiles on kid’s faces, too.

Myer can be reached at: mmyer@theintelligencer.net.

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