What the Hallmark Card Didn’t Say


May 20, 2015 by Katia

Do you ever feel like the card you’ve selected to mark a special event doesn’t begin to capture your true feelings about its significance? Have you ever felt that it maybe even contradicts them by being so impersonal and generic?

Earlier this month we’ve celebrated my older son’s birthday. He turned six and I bought him a super hero birthday card.


The card I selected captured none of the warmth or tenderness I feel toward him. The words we put on that card were in big print letters, short and legible. They reflected a fraction of our feelings. I wanted something more personal. More lasting. I wanted him to be able to go back to that card as a grownup and absorb. I’ve decided to try and pour my unconditional love and experience into words elsewhere.  You can read them here.


I’m not Role Model mom but I’m hoping that I’m Real Model. To view my honest, messy, trying-to-figure-it-all-out updates follow me on Facebook.




7 thoughts on “What the Hallmark Card Didn’t Say

  1. Oh I love that… what a great sentiment and lesson for your child…. my girl’s birthday on saturday – we always make our cards but i might add a little extra something special – thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Jana says:

    I loved your post, Katia! I hope you print it out and fold it up inside Ben’s card, storing it away where he can read what you really wanted to say sometime in the future, when he is old enough to understand it all

    • Katia says:

      What a terrific idea, Jana! Believe it or not, he thought never crossed my mind. I’ll definitely do this 🙂 thank you so much for the idea, kind words and thoughtfulness! Xo

  3. Oh, Katia, this is special. Love how you closed with “Take all the cards and letters that were ever written by mothers to their children and I still love you more than that. More than any card could ever contain.” Beautifully put.
    I am rather stubborn when it comes to cards. The ones that are simply signed with the names of the senders leave me cold. However, the ones that include a weensy personal comment or note are treasured.

  4. Love it! Great idea.

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Between 2014-2015:

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What makes a happy new year? 
This is my story, but I suspect, it might also be yours. 
Lately I haven't been writing much. Forget writing, I can't even produce an entertaining Facebook update. Why? Because selecting the right words requires an effort and I don't have any effs (for effort) left to give. First I stopped posting to my blog, then my blog's Facebook page and eventually my own Facebook profile. I'm making an effort but I find it draining. Who knew that posting funny updates on your profile is not so easy? 
Nothing dramatic is going on in my life. Work's been extra busy with some newly added responsibilities and stress, bedtimes are still long-ish and my sleep is still often interrupted, but it's not nearly as often as before. My "me time" is limited and starts late. The emotional energy I invest in my work, the nature of my sleep and the limited time I spend on myself leave me with little energy to spare. Any energy I have left and then some is invested in my kids.

My kids, whom you all know I adore and admire, are daring, often reckless and very young and inexperienced. Sometimes I'm surprised at the extent of their lack of caution and I'm always, always disproportionately worried. I know that because I'm unlike the other mothers around me. I come from a family of worriers and anxious people. My neural pathways always lead me to a dead end - literally. I catastrophize and imagine the worst outcome. For years I've been able to rationalize and talk myself out of useless, time consuming and energy wasting internal struggles with often imagined worrisome scenarios, but now that words are burdensome and my energy is dwindled, I can't. 
I'm entering this new year happier and more optimistic than I've been in awhile. Yesterday I went to see my doctor. After a lot of internal turmoil and thoughts about cancelling my appointment I came in and blurted out: I think I'm suffering from some form of anxiety. His very calm and matter of fact-ish reaction ("like everyone else in the 21st century") wasn't dismissive, but reassuring. Self care sometimes means looking deeper. 
I wish everyone a happy new year of good mental health. It's the basis for everything.
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