Mother’s Day: The gift of time well spent

Ladies, gentlemen and children, it’s almost Mother’s Day! I’ve got some ideas for spending time with mom that could pre-empt the giving of various polyester shirts, unnecessary statuary, and otherwise unwieldy treasures made for next year’s garage sale.

When I was a mom – I bet you didn’t know you could use that as a past tense, did you? – my husband would sometimes ask me what I’d like for Mother’s Day. On those occasions, especially if the previous several months had been extremely hectic, I’d ask for something that almost seemed blasphemous – an afternoon off on Mother’s Day.

Did I feel guilty for asking that my kids be taken off premises during my special day? Of course; I was the mom after all. And yet, once they were out of the house with daddy, I didn’t feel quite as bad.

The peacefulness of it all, along with a good book or a hot bath with no one watching, was actually a lovely gift. At the end of the appointed time off, they’d come home with some type of meal in a bag and we’d all eat and play whatever the kids wanted to play. By the end of the day, everyone had enjoyed themselves, especially the mom.

As our kids grew up and went off to college, for me the most coveted gift of all became getting some of their time. My favorite college-age Mother’s Day was when one of the kids planned that we would just hang out, eat pizza, watch a movie and talk. What a gift!

Now the kids have families of their own and are preparing to celebrate their own Mother’s Day. Their kids are too little to do much yet, so it’s up to the spouses to be creative and make it a great day. I hope whatever they do, it will be memorable for the mamas.

Here are some ideas you might like to do with your mom / wife / grandmother.

While I am not a big fan of going out to eat on Mother’s Day, for many moms a day off from cooking will score big points.

Warren has many restaurants to choose from including several downtown. If it’s a beautiful day, pack mom a picnic lunch and take her for a picnic at Perkins Park in Warren or Imagination Station Park near Mosquito Lake. She can pretend she’s just one of the kids riding high on the swings.

If Mom likes art, a visit to the Butler Institute of American Art in Howland could inspire her. It’s open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and has a nice collection that’s just about the right size to keep the kids from getting bored.

Two historical museums are also available for tours: The Upton House or the John Stark Edwards House Museum. If mom is into cars, there’s always the Packard Museum; it’s also showing motorcycles at this time.

Enjoying the great outdoors might mean taking a walk through downtown and up Mahoning Avenue. For a full-on flower fest, mom might like visiting Fellows Riverside Gardens, part of the Mill Creek Park grounds. It is filled with some of the most colorful flowers I’ve ever seen and the kids can run amok there. You can access the park off Mahoning Avenue on the Youngstown side.

If mom is more of the athletic type, a run or bike-ride on the Sunside Trail Head in Champion may be just what she’s hoping for. It’s another beautiful, peaceful area in which to spend time in the middle of all Mother Nature has to offer.

No matter what you might choose to do with your mom, be sure to tell her just how much she means to you and give her a really great Mother’s Day!

Jagunic is a Cortland resident. Email her at