I tried to give her the reassurance she was looking for, but I've been thinking about it ever since ... how did this happen? I think it's because we are not poor. Growing up, money was tight and gifts were rare. Whenever my sister or I got anything, it was a BIG DEAL. We were over the moon and would treasure even the tiniest package of gum. But now I have everything and things in fact mean very little to me. I buy myself stuff all the time and most of the time it actually depresses me because I have to find a home for it amongst the clutter, I have to dust it, I have to eventually throw it out and feel guilty for spending money on it in the first place. I didn't have the heart to explain any of this to my Mom. She'll never get it. Even though my parents are no longer poor, they will always be frugal.
So what does matter? Well I love it when my mom brings me food, when she plays with the kids, tells them stories about my childhood, goes running with me, irons my clothes, bakes me pies. Those are the things I am over the moon for. She wants to see a reaction out of me -- sure --- those are the things I will show her I am grateful for. Yes sirree!