My children, Solomon and Celia, have long since progressed from the age when they loved to be held, sit in my lap, and cried mournfully when I left them. These days, I cherish every hug and kiss especially because they are more scarce.

On the other hand, as teenagers, they have come to understand that I have important needs and feelings, and they are more likely to ask me how my day was and make me feel appreciated by thanking me for making them dinner or driving them to a friend’s house. They even sometimes help clean up after dinner without being reminded!

As moms, we realize that a big part of our job ultimately is to help our children move from their utter dependence on us as babies, to independence as adults, so that they can someday repeat the cycle of life with their own offspring (rather than holing up in our basements and sending us a text when they need to be fed and watered).

Do you ever feel like the mama bird in this time-lapsed video, who nurtured her babies so lovingly only to have them flee the nest so soon, without so much as a thank you and goodbye?

The most cherished gift my kids can give me these days is their time. This weekend, for Mother’s Day, I’d like to have breakfast together and spend some time planting herbs in the garden, harvesting the spring lettuce, and making a bouquet out of garden roses and lilacs. Then I’d like to take a family bike ride to someplace good for lunch, and then maybe they’ll let me nap in the sun. That would be my perfect Mother’s Day.

One of the best spring gifts for Mother’s Day, a friend’s birthday, or just to make someone feel really special, is something that is literally homegrown. I love making planters for friends with a mixture of herbs or soft lettuces. It’s so easy: Just fill a large pot with some dirt and add some baby herbs and lettuces with popsicle stick markers. They look so beautiful and can be used over weeks or months.

If you decide to make a lettuce planter for your mom or someone else you love, you can pair it with a jar of homemade dressing. Here’s one of my favorite salad dressing recipes:
How would you spend your ideal Mother’s Day?

Recipe: Maple-Dijon Dressing

Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
    • 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
    • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
    • 1/2 tsp. herbes de Provence or dried thyme

Instructions

    • Whisk together all ingredients (or let your kids shake them vigorously in a jar) and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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