I know many people consider Mother’s Day to be a “Hallmark holiday,” but I have to admit I always love an excuse to receive flowers, go to a nice restaurant and maybe even receive a home-made card. Usually at this time of year, I start wondering where my husband might take me and if he and Isabel bought or made something to surprise me.

But this year, I’ve decided to turn the day on its head. Instead of thinking about tokens of appreciation I “deserve” as a mom, I’ve been thinking of what I appreciate about my daughter, because if it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t be celebrating Mother’s Day! On a recent train ride to New York City for a business trip, I came up with my “Isabel Appreciation List.” I’ll save it for a few years before I give it to her, but I’ll share it with you now:

1. Thoughtful–Isabel packed me one of her favorite stuffed animals so I wouldn’t be lonely away from her.
2. Sensitive–Isabel decided to plant sunflowers to remind me of my mother, since she recalled me saying sunflowers were her favorite flower.
3. Kind–She suggested for an upcoming family celebration that we bake a special cupcake for her cousin, who has celiac disease.
4. Imaginative–She also packed my silver high heels in case I get invited to the Prince’s Ball (as in Cinderella’s prince) while I’m away.
5. Keeps me laughing–She asked me when she should tell Eric, her favorite 6-year-old boy, that “we are in love.”

Try a list of your own–I’ll bet you’ll find some of the traits you admire about your own kids have something to do with your mothering skills. I guarantee the exercise will bring a smile to your face.