We’re all friends here, right? I hope so. Because, mamas, I have ten years worth of motherhood mess-ups and cautionary tales to share with you. I always hoped that one day these all-too-true stories could bring other mamas some encouragement because I’m selfless like that. Okay fine. Not really. I just want my pain to count for something and if it makes another mama laugh or feel less alone in this crazy world of motherhood, then it’s all worth it!
So lean in close, friends, and I’ll share with you the reason I won’t be on Pinterest ever again. Ever. Amen.
It was time to buy the preschool teacher a gift. And this wasn’t just any teacher. This woman had most definitely achieved sainthood in the year she spent shepherding my sweet, precious angel. Saint. Hood.
Now what she probably wanted was a long vacation or a gift card to the nearest package store, but I wanted a gift that would adequately convey the depths of my love and appreciation for what I knew she had been through with a whole class of sweet, precious angels.
Also, I wanted it to stand out among all the other parent gifts because I’m the oldest child and a perfectionist and we can get into all that some other time. So I scoured the list of favorites we received at the beginning of the year. I googled like my life depended on it. And then, like every other good mother would’ve already thought to do, I turned to the one true source that has never let me down before–Pinterest.
Ah, Pinterest. We’d had a long love-hate relationship already. Love for the 137 crescent roll recipes I’ve brought to potlucks along the way. Hate for the unimaginable stress of the elaborate themed birthday parties I’d been guilted into throwing together year after year. But desperate times and all that found me, once again, begging Pinterest to help me come up with the, “Best Teacher Gift” ever.
I’d been scrolling for about 37 years when the heavens suddenly parted with golden light and angel song. There it was. The Perfect Gift.
This teacher loved to garden. She loved to cook. (This teacher made it through ten whole months and still seemed genuinely happy to see us walk through the door every morning. I want to be like her when I grow up.)
A rosemary tree. A beautiful, fragrant, flavorful, useful, decorative gift that combined gardening and cooking. It was perfect.
The morning of the party arrived and I headed out to pick up the rosemary tree. (Yes, I procrastinated until the day of. Be gentle with me. I had a good excuse. I just forgot what it was. Something super important. I think.) I had a raging head cold and I was sad I couldn’t breathe in that wonderful rosemary scent, but I barely noticed because I was so excited to present the “Best Gift Ever.” I rushed to the store and grabbed a beautiful little tree from in front of a festive sign labeled, “Rosemary,” complete with dancing gnomes. Grabbed a sweet card, some decorative ribbon, and a bag of cookies before speeding off to the party.
As I slowly walked to the gift table, I couldn’t help but imagine the internal oohs and ahs going on around me. I made sure to not sound too rehearsed when I told the teacher, “Oh it’s nothing really. Just a rosemary tree that made me think of you. Thank you so much for all you’ve done for my child this year.”
Have you ever heard that old saying, “Pride goeth before a fall?”
Mhmm. Me, too. And yet I was still surprised.
Friends, it was ten days later that I was having dinner at my sister’s house and she asked me to clip some rosemary from her rosemary tree.
My stomach sank to my toes. This was not the same tree I had so proudly gifted the beloved teacher. I frantically googled to see what I had actually given the teacher.
I had actually given her a beautiful fresh cedar tree. And I immediately imagined her happily clipping sprigs to flavor whatever delicious meal she was preparing for her beautiful family. I was convinced they were all, even now, being rushed to the emergency room with the worst case of food poisoning ever in the history of food.
Thankfully, the only thing hurt in this tale of woe was my pride. Because the teacher was savvy enough to know what actual rosemary looks and smells like, she just muttered a quick “bless her heart” and went on about her business.
As for me? I have sworn off Pinterest for good. And I will never try to be the best gift giver ever. It’s now gift cards for everyone. It’s much safer that way.