Weeks before Mother’s Day, it became clear that six-year-old Claire had absorbed the importance of the day and had big plans to check off every box a child could check to mark the occasion. Bags of artwork would come home from daycare and school, but I was not allowed to look — it’s a surprise, she’d say. Pockets were filled with pebbles one day and pine cones the next, but if I even asked about their purpose, I was met with a plea not to look, not to ask, not to wonder. It’s a surprise.
She fretted that her oven mitts were at school (for the class pizzeria — don’t even ask): how was she going to bake? She needed a recipe for chocolate cake, but I was not to inquire why. She needed to know how much something would cost, but she wouldn’t tell me what, or where, or how. [Read More…]