Everyone knows that the most important part of Mother’s Day is the card, especially when the mother in question is a professional illustrator. The card must be tasteful and well-crafted. It must be printed on exquisite paper and (ideally) made by hand. It must be filled with original sentiment. It must be heartfelt. Ideally, it would contain at least a trace of handiwork by the people who define Robbi as mother. My work was cut out for me.
I got a head start a few weeks ago at the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Arts festival when I ran across our friends Eric Leland and Anne Raines. Eric is an amazing woodcut artist and illustrator. He does beautiful letterpress cards and books, and fortunately, he had a Mothers Day card on sale.
All of Eric’s stuff is playful, fun, beautifully designed, and exquisitely made. If you’re looking for hand-printed cards, be sure to check out his Manufactory.
In any case, I had a card that met all the requirements. The next step was filling it with adequate doses of love. Ever since I got the card two weeks ago, I’ve been wondering what to write and how to involve the kids.
Of course, I waited until this morning to actually do anything about it.
Fortunately, the day started early. August got up at 6:00, and I got up with him. We were hanging out, staring blankly at Robbi’s card, looking for inspiration, when I noticed that there were three little chickens on the front. Perhaps, I thought, I could extend the theme inside.
And so I took out a red stamp pad, got the little man’s hand all inky, and pressed it into the paper. When Kato got up about a half hour later, we did the same thing with yellow ink. All I needed was Alden’s print, and I’d be home free. Except, she refused to wake up.
I kept going into her room to check on her, each time making a little more noise than I probably needed to in hopes of jarring her from sleep. But she would not be roused. I fretted, as 8:00 approached, knowing that Robbi could wake up at any moment. Eventually, I resorted to desperate measures. Taking the orange stamp pad into Alden’s room, I inked her sleeping hand and pressed it into the paper. Then, using the damp paper towel I had brought along, I cleaned her up and left the room. She never stopped snoring throughout.
A few minutes with my black Uniball, and the card was done.
Robbi was pleased with her card. All three of her little chickens had made their mark, even if one of them did so unconsciously.
As it turns out, it isn’t even the thought that counts.