Mother’s Day Essay in 110 Words

Steffan's story

Cocker Spaniel                110 words

My dog Charlotte is about 8 years old. Charlotte is not a house dog and likes to get into the house.

My mom had made three cakes one of them was cocanut and was real special.

My sister and I were at home I went outside and Charlotte got in. Megan tried to get her out but we couldent find her.

When my mom got home she saw some crums on the floor and ran into the room where the cakes were. One of the cakes were eaten.  The one that was eaten was the special cocanut.

Charlotte had eaten it. My mom had a nervous brake down.

The cake was about 20 by 10 inches and Megan could not belive that Charlotte had eaten the whole cake.

by Steffan McMurrin

The cast of characters, plus the cat (not a suspect....we think).

The cast of characters, plus the cat (not a suspect….we think).

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there who have ever had or come close to having a nervous brake down when something “real special” turned to crums. Those days happen, we get over it and then they happen again.  Sometimes there is nothing left to salvage and sometimes perhaps we still have two cakes.  Comments, Steffan?


Happy Mother’s Day to my siblings who would best understand the following, or perhaps to anyone who has dreamt about someone they miss:

Carolyn & Baby Carolyn

Carolyn & Baby Carolyn

A week and a day ago I had a dream- the kind that you remember with clarity as soon as you wake up, and then the details start to fade away as soon as you try to relive it in your mind. The kind where the logic doesn’t make sense in real life but completely worked in the dream.

I knew as soon as the dream began to fade that I had to concentrate all of my mental energy on remembering the details of the dream because I didn’t want to lose the feelings I had that were so fleeting. These feelings were ones that came back to me with such keening clarity and in such a rush that it was almost overwhelming.  I realized they were feelings I had deeply missed, but not only had I forgotten them–due to the unwanted comfort that the passing of time gives–I had forgotten that I even missed them.  But now I remembered.

I remembered now what it felt like to  hear my mother’s voice, speaking to me about the simplest thing. How it felt when I turned and looked at her and she was not looking at me but there she was, exactly how I remember seeing her and hearing her, thirteen years ago.

I dreamed that I was in the location where I live now and mom was visiting me and we were shopping in this cute little Japanese boutique type store. In the dream I was in my current state of life, but mom was exactly as she was in 1998 or 1999.  I had been in this store (a figment of my dream) before, and felt excited to show mom all the cute things. But I hadn’t noticed the hats.

Behind some other cute little Japanese items was a coat rack and on it hung several handcrafted hats, the kind of hats that I knew mom would love to wear. I saw them an instant before she did and in that moment I remember hoping that she wouldn’t notice them, thinking that one of those hats would make the perfect gift for her.

But as I turned to say something to distract her from seeing the hats, she reached up and took one off to feel it. It was made of  dark-blue wool, but very soft and was not scratchy- the perfect kind of hat for her to wear if she wanted to look a little more dressed-up than the thin cotton hats she typically wore. She took her own hat off to try it on.

I remember joking with her,  saying something about how I wish she hadn’t seen the hat herself because I wanted it to be a surprise for a Christmas gift for her. She said something back to me that I don’t remember, but it was something completely mundane.

The last thing I recall is that I really wanted to show her these little cards or some sort of Japanese stationery item, because I just knew that she would want to buy them to give to Heather, Cheryl & Aleida. I felt a sense of urgency that she really needed to see these because I wanted to discuss with her which ones she thought would be best for each sister. She would know.

And that was it. There was no profound message. I did not awake to feel that mom had come to me through a dream. It was simply and totally wonderful just to see her, to hear her voice and to have what felt like a few minutes just to be with her, after so many years of missing her. When I woke up I felt peaceful and happy, and did not feel any grief or anger. It was like a small gift just to me. Comforting, like a small, warm, dark blue un-scratchy wool hat.


Happy Mother’s Day to me:

This was my first Mothers Day where a child was old enough to make me something. This is what I got and I love it:


Fiona has just recently started attending a Japanese Preschool. On Friday, she came home with this artfully decorated paper plate. I did not know that Mother’s Day was celebrated in Japan, but when Fiona excitedly exclaimed “This is you Mom!” as she thrust the paper plate into my hands, and since all the little kids were presenting these plates to their moms upon pick-up, I assumed that they do have some sort of similar tradition. I have since read that the Japanese  first celebrated Mother’s Day  on March 6th, 1931  in honor of Empress Kojun’s birthday, who was the mother of the then Emperor Akihito. In 1949 it was officially declared a national day and is celebrated on the second Sunday of Japan.

Red carnations are a traditional offering to mothers on this day, as they symbolize purity and sweetness. As I looked around at all the excited little Japanese children hugging their moms and showing their pictures I thought it was funny that mine was the only one that didn’t have black paper for hair and I hope it wasn’t too much trouble for Fiona’s teachers to make sure that she got the other colored paper so that she could make a plate that looked like me.

The subject of Mother’s Day breakfast had been a much-discussed subject the whole week and Rijen was prepared to make all sorts of delicious breakfast dishes. The best breakfast I’ve ever had was with Holly in San Francisco at this little cafe with homemade yogurt, granola and fresh berries, so I had Rijen replicate that for me. It was perfect except no Holly, which in retrospect I think added to it being the best breakfast I’ve ever had. We had a nice relaxing Sunday and the kids even kind of cooperated for me to take some pictures of them after church.




I bought Leif suspender pants because Leif is so skinny all of his pants fall down, even though they are only 12-18 months. We are working on fattening him up.  This is a really good solution though, and they still hold up his pants even when his diaper weighs 10 pounds, see?


They are really learning how to play and have fun together as siblings and that has been the highlight of the last few months for me as a mother- to see how they interact. There are some stressful times between them- Leif squeals at a very high register when he doesn’t like what “sister” is doing and has a tendency to shove her away and even has started hitting very petulantly. On her end, I have caught Fiona being less than gentle with him (pinching? perhaps?- she’s sneaky) when she gets very frustrated and can’t communicate to him what is wrong or get him to stop something that is annoying her.

She has begun to develop her own sense of coping mechanism to avoid issues though, for example, she has (on her own) decided to use a code word “STATUE OF LIBERTY” for our iPAD because if she asks me if she can play the “iPAD” Leif knows exactly what that is and will demand his turn first. So it may sound strange, but it is now commonplace for Fiona to say, “When can I play the Statue of Liberty?” Rijen and I have discussed amongst ourselves though that it is only a matter of time before Leif cracks the code.


On the whole though, they are very loving to each other and love to give each other hugs and kisses and chase each other  and laugh. Leif follows her around constantly and mimics her behavior, for better or for worse. I don’t think I ever fully realized the responsibility of a big sister and how much influence they have on the younger sibling until these last few months.

They were both running around with the neighbor kids and we were lucky enough to get a decent family picture taken:


Although the real way it went down was a little more like this


We then had a little window of quiet family time and  then thanks to our neighbor Shannon, neither of us had to prepare a Mother’s Day dinner (or do dishes) because she invited us over to her house! It was fabulous.

Leif fascinated by Shannon's dog Butter

Leif fascinated by Shannon’s dog Butter

Rijen took the kids back home and put them to bed and then I stayed a little while later at Shannon’s house where we swapped stories about our moms and looked at respective pictures. Shannon’s mom passed away also after a long fight with breast cancer, so it was interesting to discuss similarities between our moms and the legacy they left for us. Wouldn’t you love a mom who suggests a weekend trip to Iceland, and actually makes good on the offer? That’s the kind of mom Shannon has. Pretty inspiring. In looking for photos of my mom to show Shannon, I came across some old photos of my mom that my oldest brother had posted on Facebook and it was the perfect occasion to see and think about those photos for the first time and wonder what kind of person she was back then….before she was my mom. It was also the perfect end to today, and to this post. Good night and Happy Mother’s Day 2013.


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6 responses to “Mother’s Day Essay in 110 Words

  1. So beautifully written, as usual. What a tribute to your mother. Your dream is amazing, thank you for sharing. This post has so many different points & poignant experiences, I don’t know where to begin so I’ll just say that I loved it all, very much. Oh, and I wore that same dress to church today. 🙂


  2. Well I remember the struggle of keeping Charlotte out of the house, and that moment of panic as she’s slipping by and wiggling in and there’s nothing you can do about it. I can’t believe we just ‘couldn’t find her’! Leif’s suspenders are really cute, and I liked Fiona’s dress that I’m sure you made. I’m sending you a video that I made w/Dad, who was helping me paint all weekend. He’s gone now, but maybe we can skype sometime, and he needs to setup his webcam and microphone so he can talk to you as well. <3's


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  4. My Mother’s day wasn’t as dramatic as yours or Melinda’s but I assure you that I had plenty of laughs & tears when my children were home. Thanks for sharing. It was wonderful to see the pictures of both your Mom and your own family. Love, Marvin & Sharron Morris


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