It's simple: Mother's Day is a chance to tell the woman who loves, protects, and cares for you every day of the year that you love her.
Good to hear, although mothers already know that. Their children count on them to remember it while they're sulking behind closed doors, or after they've grown, when they forget to call on Sundays.
Still, many mothers have moments when they wonder what their children think of them as people. Might their children view them as one of those stereotypical mothers bearing love, food, and guilt?
While a candid response from older children might be difficult to elicit, ask a child, as we did, their definition of such a complicated word as "mother," and the response is personal and direct. Children from the Chilmark and Oak Bluffs elementary schools offered solid nuggets of plain-spoken truth that gave words like "nice" grand significance.
Photos by Eleni Collins
And then they shared some of their Mother's Day experiences.
From the Chilmark School, Olivia Knight, 8, said, "I like to make my mom breakfast in bed. I'll never give her orange juice again because she spilled it all over last time." She added, "I give her special gifts. Last year I gave her potholders that had a heart with 'Mom' in it. We also go shopping and read.
A thoughtful Erin Hickey, 11, also serves her mother breakfast in bed. "I just appreciate her because it's the kids that get appreciated all the time," she said. "It's just a day to do whatever parents want because they make a lot of sacrifices for you."
Cameron Soulagnet, 6, said, "Last Mother's Day we gave my mom a camera. We also usually give her candy."
Olya Bernier, 9, explained, "I hug her, give her a kiss, give her a present - which I usually make - and make her a card."
Food and handmade gifts seem the most popular way to celebrate Mother's Day.
"We bring her breakfast in bed, and make her cards," said 10-year-old Ella Jernegan, and Kieran Karabees, 6, told us, "I like to give my mom a card."
A creative Dash Christy, 6, said, "I like to make bouquets and hang them up on the ceiling."
Among those Chilmark students who enjoy celebrating Mother's Day by cooking, Kelly Klaren, 7, said, "We make her blueberry pancakes."
Mary McCarthy, 9, said, "I like to bake banana bread with my mom."
Kindergartener Thea Keene said, "Sometimes we get dessert, or we make her dinner."
After telling us that he and his mom like going to the beach and cook, nine-year-old Addison Geiger, said, "We make tiramisu, zucchini bread, and flan."
When asked about celebrating Mother's Day with his mother, Levi Moreis, 7, said, "I like to spend time with her, and I like to watch movies and play with her." Max Eber, 9, explained, "Me and my dad get presents and flowers and we surprise her. Last year I got her a stuffed animal."
A thoughtful Adelaide Keene, 9, said, "On Mother's Day, we let my mom sleep in, and we go out for lunch."
It was much the same among Oak Bluffs students.
Jake Howell, 6, said, "We plant flowers, and I make her a cake."
Andrew Carlo Deoliveria, 7, takes a similar approach to the day: "We bake a cake and invite a lot of people over - my friends too."
A very generous Shawn Glade, 7, told us, "We have a Mother's Day party. I'll probably give her a new car like I gave my dad for father's day."
Taylor Rogers, 7, and Devin Waite, 6, don't have much trouble deciding what to do. Taylor said, "We usually go off-Island and we go do things that my mom wants to do. We usually go to New Jersey." Devin said, "Most of the time, we go where my mom likes to go. It's all what my mom likes to do."
Happy Mother's Day.