Through the years, you may have given your son toys, video games and music lessons, but now that he's grown and getting married, more personal gifts are in order. Gifts a mother makes usually are more meaningful than a purchased item and cost less, a bonus if you are helping pay for the wedding. As a gag, box up and wrap an apron with its ties cut. Focus on presents that remind him of his past with you or help him manage without you "on call" in the future.
Create a photo album or photo compilation of images of you and your child. Start from the first bonding moments after he was born and continue to the present. Include important milestones such as birthdays, holidays, his first driving lesson, prom and graduations, but also add quiet moments such as the two of you assembling a puzzle, coloring or reading together. If the written word is more your style, start a journal weeks before the ceremony that includes special times that you and he shared as well as your impressions of him through the years.
Feed the Kids
Not every mom is a good cook, but if you are, create a cookbook of recipes for your son's favorite meals. If your adult child is a complete novice and never paid attention to you in the kitchen, include simple recipes and explanations of everyday tasks such as how to boil water, crack and scramble eggs, heat soup from a can and make grilled-cheese sandwiches. If your recipe was passed down from previous generations, note its history in the cookbook. You don't have to get fancy and hire a printer to print the book; instead, use a binder to hold page-protected information. This should ensure your son and his spouse don't live off instant ramen noodles forever.
Save the House and Car
If you're the type of mom who can fix almost anything, share that information with your son. Write down repair instructions for common household issues such as a leaky kitchen faucet, a sticking door, clogged gutters, and operation of the lawnmower and snowblower. If you know basic vehicle maintenance, include instructions as to how to check oil and tire pressure, add windshield-washer fluid, and change a tire and add air to tires.
Sing It, Mama!
Record all the songs you sang to him as a child. Include lullabies, made-up songs he loved, and songs you belted out as you drove him to school. Or, compile a playlist of classic songs that have special meaning to mothers and sons, such as, "If I Could" by Barbra Streisand, "I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack" and "Child of Mine" by Carole King. If you don't suffer from stage fright, perform a few songs for your son at the reception. Make arrangements prior to the wedding with any hired band or DJ.
If you can quilt and have saved some of the clothes with which your son just couldn't bear to part as he grew up, use those items to craft a small quilt for display. If the clothes have been in your home for years, chances are he's forgotten many of them; the quilt is an entertaining reminder of his childhood preferences. Before you cut anything, take a photo of it for posterity.
Sheila Smith is a copy editor and writer with more than nine years of experience editing and writing for international media syndicate Tribune Media. Additional clients have included Times Union and Edgenuity. She has been involved with several nonprofit organizations, provided etiquette instruction for cultural and religious events and has experience in event planning.