A balance of effort, meaning and love.

Submitted into Contest #1 in response to: Write a story about someone trying to find the perfect birthday gift.... view prompt



I browse through the shelves, my eyes tracing each object with interest. Could she want a new mixing bowl? She has plenty, and she wouldn't be so happy with me spending so much... Maybe a weighing scale...? She's never really needed one, so it might be useless...

My mother is great. I know that most kids dislike their moms for being too strict or overbearing, but I find my mom to be amazing. She's attentive without being invasive, and she isn't too strict either. She gives me independence, something that I appreciate deeply, above all the cheesy caring-for and love. She's also a great baker. I'm privileged, I know.

I am the only child, Eva Estes. I'm 14, and currently looking for the perfect gift for my mom. I've outgrown handmade gifts at this point, so I doubt I can get away with stringing along with some macaroni and calling it a necklace, though it would have been a lot easier. I never realized how hard gift shopping was.

My birthday was only a few weeks ago, and my mom decided to give me the best present I could ask for; a guitar. I've always been interested in music, playing my cheap ukelele at every moment I could. But the guitar was always my favorite instrument, and getting one was a dream. Obviously, I have to get something equally as amazing.

Problem is, she never wants anything. Getting the perfect gift for me must have been easy; I always rant about music and more, and heavily hint that the guitar is my favorite instrument. Her, on the other hand... Well, she's a mystery.

Getting something to help her in the kitchen is an obvious choice. It's her passion, but more of a hobby at this point, with her work as a kindergarten teacher in the way. Still, it's too... basic. It would feel like I haven't put any proper thought into it. With the money I have, my gift can't really compensate for a lack of thought with the price tag. It has to be well thought out and cheap.

I eventually find the end of the kitchen supplies section and find myself in a hardware aisle. I skip it instantly. My mom has no interest in that.

After seeing that shop had nothing else I could get for her, I moved on to the next. A thrift store, because I've developed a habit of avoiding any shop that's expensive. I'm not so good at doing chores for pocket money, or even saving up...

My mom wears the same things a lot. Her sense of fashion is decent. Nothing too revealing (She works with kids, after all...), nothing too senseless and nothing too outdated. She's all good in that department, and she also has enough clothes to put her in the green, too. Besides, she was never been too concerned with fashion in the first place.

I left the thrift store.

I sighed, searching the shops once more as I strolled through the concrete streets. I frowned, seeing nothing that I could really get. I wanted to show that I put effort into this gift, but how...?

"Huh? Eva, you good?" A voice called, and I realized I had been scowling. I turned to the source of the voice to see a sister of a friend, Victoria, or Vickie.

Vickie was older than me at 17. She was into bands and the color black, like a lot of kids were. Still, she was cool, even if her dark humor was a little different to the regular jokes I see. Still, it was refreshing, and we talked sometimes. About 'deep shit', as she called it...

"Oh, yeah. I'm fine. What are you doing here?" I asked her. She shrugged.

"Looking for some clothes. You?" she said, starting to stroll alongside me.

"I'm finding a birthday present for my mom," I replied, and she scoffed.

"Just get her some flowers. All moms like flowers," Vickie laughed, rolling her eyes. I laughed along.

"Well, my mom has an allergy to pollen..."

"Then a Pinterest account. She can be a Pinterest mom."

I sighed.

"...That's not really special, you know? I wanna put effort into it..." I trailed off with a sigh. Vickie proceeded to scoff at me.

"What's the big deal? All it is is your mom's birthday. She won't care, she's had like 40 other of them."

"...My mom's 36..."

"Whatever! Just get something sparkly, flowery or some tasty and bam. Job done!" Vickie laughed. She looked at her phone. "Ah, gotta go. Shop's closing soon, so I have to get there before it does. See you later, yeah?"

"Oh, right... C'ya."

Vickie and Emma- my best friend, and Vickie's sister- both had a bad relationship with their mother. It's not something that I should get into, but because I became aware of that, I suddenly became a lot more grateful for my own mom. It made me realize I was a pain to her before that, especially with how good she is to me, which only adds to the reasons why my mom deserves a perfect gift.

Now, to find the perfect gift.

Thinking back on what Vicky said... She did suggest something 'tasty', and my mom likes cooking... Maybe I could just do the groceries, and get her some ingredients?

...I'm running out of ideas.

I sighed once again. What could I do? Something that has meaning, that shows I've put in effort and shows love. It's hard to find something like that.

I spotted a poster, advertising a nearby pizza place. It showed a lady spinning dough on her finger, flour sprinkled into the air and floating down. She had a grin on her face, eyes on her creation. I smirked, getting an idea.

And no, I wasn't going to order pizza.

I went to the grocers and proceeded to get everything I needed, walking through the aisles and getting all her favorite foods (and of course, some of mine, too). And eventually, I had enough to make a meal. This was honestly something I should have thought of before, and I'm genuinely confused as to why I didn't think of it.

I was going to make a homemade meal for my mom. Better get out the youtube tutorials.

I could only hope she'd like it, and that I wouldn't burn the kitchen down...

August 09, 2019 21:47

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