The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Monday, May 05, 2008


Less is More

It was Valentine’s Day and I dragged home my cards in a paper bag, as my brother, Russell, did his.

We dumped them on the table to show my mother. My brother must have gotten thirty of them! I think I received maybe eight, and started crying.

“I got more than you did! I got more than you did!” Russell taunted before he left, probably to annoy the dog.

My mother asked me what was wrong.

“Russell got a whole bunch more cards than I did,” I said, trying to wipe away my tears.

My mother carefully picked up a few of Russell’s cards and then inspected mine.

She could see the difference.

“Dawn, it’s true. Russell did get more. But they all look the same. None of them look very special. And look how tiny they are.”

She held up one of mine.

”See how big this one is? And look at it? Somebody cut out the heart by hand, and glued a doily on it. And drew more hearts. And look, he wrote his name so nicely. Gary.”

My mother held up each of the few cards I had received. I could see she was right.

“Maybe everyone in Russell’s class sent one to him. Probably everyone got the same cards. But if you look, none of them are very great. You may have gotten less, but each person really wanted to send you that card. Each one is special. And each one was made just for you.”

She was right.

I looked at every one of my cards and suddenly each was special. There was effort and thought put into every one. It didn’t matter how many I had received because the one’s I did get were the ones people really wanted me to have.

That’s the first time I learned the lesson less is more. It’s been a mantra ever since.

Today, with my own children, I try to apply this lesson to their friends.

“You don’t have to have a hundred of them. But you do need to have a handful that no matter what, you can always count on and who will always be there for you and you for them, no questions asked.”

Jay, my fifteen year-old “gets” it. Mimi, my six old, is still learning the importance of social skills and loyalty.

Neither has a zillion friends. But the ones they do have – are true.

“Less is more,” I tell them.

“Wouldn’t you rather have a million dollars than a dollar in your piggy bank?” asks Mimi. Oy! This kid!!!

“In that case,” I tell her, “you’re right. More is more. I would prefer the extra ka-ching.”

“But you’re young. Sometimes things are hard to explain. Just remember that in most cases, less is more. It’s not the quantity, it’s the quality. That’s what counts.”

By Dawn Yun


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What a wonderful lesson! I always felt "unpopular" because I just had a few close friends when I was younger. But now-at 43 my "best" friends are the same ones I have had almost my whole life! These relationships are more valuable than the ones I might have had if I had tried harder to be part of the "in" crowd. Less is definitely more!
I love this, how wonderful you are teaching your daughter this. It took me until becoming a mother to realize this truth. KL
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