Advanced Essay # 1 - This Year Will Be Different


My idea for this paper was to show how my relationship with my parents has grown over the years and, as shown through my gifts, I really appreciate them, especially my mom. I mention that as I’m getting older and as I’m maturing, I am thinking more of others and I am adding more emotion to my gifts that I give her.


This year for Mother’s Day, I wanted to get my mom something really special. The years before, I hadn’t really given her anything that was spectacular. It was mainly just cards that I had made, or little things that I had painted. But this year I knew that I wanted to do something different.

In previous years for Mother’s Day, I do remember the day that me, my dad and my sister went to a ceramic and art studio. We had no idea what was going to come out of our time there, we weren’t sure about anything at that point. This idea was kind of a last resort thing since Mother’s Day was so close and we still didn’t have a gift yet. A week before this, we had my sister’s birthday party at the same place and we really liked it here. Walking through the door, I felt a cool breeze hit me along with the chill from outside. My dad talked to the person at the front desk about some things that were available to paint as a gift. Most of the ideas that she mentioned didn’t really appeal to him, until he heard her say that they had big salad plates available. She went to the back of the studio and brought out a big ceramic plate. It was rough to the tough, almost as if it was sanded down before it was brought out to us.

At first when we got the plate, we tried to come up with ideas of what would look good on the plate and what would look nice in our kitchen. We decided to go with a cooking theme because my mom loved to cook. The next thing that we had trouble with was deciding what colors we would use and more of a specific design. The first thing that came to mind was wine because she loved cooking with it and it went perfectly with the theme. We drew it out and as we continued drawing, everything started coming together. Around the rim of the dish is speckled paint that is not too thick and not too thin, just around the rim or edge. In the dead center there is a painted wine bottle that says Pinot Noir in the center of the wine bottle as a label and in the top right hand corner of the label is 2012. Under the word Noir is a thin squiggly line and also on the top of the word Pinot. At the spout of the wine, the cork is short and shaded. The inside of the outlined wine bottle is also shaded. Near the spout of the wine bottle are four thicker winding lines, thicker than the squiggly lines on the wine bottle. 

As I worked on those things, my sister had a different design in mind that didn’t really fit the theme. She started to paint flowers on different parts of the plate and at first it was weird, but then it started to look okay because it added some color. I wanted to make the lines sharper on some of the flowers, so I walked over to a set of cabinets that had little bottles of paint that you added a metal tip to and it made clean lines. They only had a few of those tips, so we had to wash the ones we used with warm water. I was about to rinse the tips and when I turned the water and stuck my hand underneath, I burned myself with the water. I felt the pain rush up my hand into my arm. I felt stinging my hand, so I quickly switched the water to cold and it instantly changed the pain in my hand. Next to the wine bottle on the left are flowers, the one on top is bigger than the one on the bottom.

So we drew the wine bottle on the plate and came up with an idea to paint grapes around it. I remember agreeing with that idea, but then not knowing how to paint grapes. The lady overheard me and handed me this long stick with a small end that was almost like a dotting tool and a large end with an even larger dotting tool. I tried using that, but dots ended up being too small and the shape was weird so I just used a paintbrush instead. Right next to the wine bottle on both sides are bunches of grapes, the one on the left wraps around the front of the wine bottle. Under the bunch of grapes on the left of the wine bottle, to the bottom left hand corner is a little open cook book illustration with the words Cookbook underneath it. Next to that is the word Pasta. Slightly above that to the right a little is a little drawing with rainbow swirls and hearts. Right next to the bunch of grapes on the right of the wine bottle is a flower that just has the petals outlined. Right above the bunch of grapes on the right side of the wine bottle is another flower with outlined petals. In the open spaces are squiggly lines, but only a few. It started to come together really well.

My dad slowly added things that helped make the plate come to life, like little illustrations of a cookbook and words like Pasta and Cookbook. When we finished painting the details, we looked at the plate and noticed that it was missing something. So my dad thought that it needed a border and he also added some squiggly lines in places that were empty. Then we told the lady that we were finished and she wrote our names on the back and put it in the kiln. She told us to pick it up in a few days. After a few days past we went to pick it up and once we got there, we saw it and said that it looked great and that my mom would really enjoy it.

This year was completely different for Mother’s Day. I was out with my friends, when my parents and my sister had gone to my aunt’s house for the day. We were shopping for clothes for the upcoming comic con at the Central library. I remember that in the morning when my dad dropped me off it was chilly and rainy, which didn’t help with a hurt ankle which I sprained earlier that week. We all met up at a Starbucks that was on 20th and Market because it was closest to H&M, which was the first store we wanted to go to visit. I walked into the Starbucks and instantly a gust of cold air hit me. I saw my friend sitting by a big window, holding their rainbow umbrella, waiting for others to show up. A few minutes after I walked in, my other friends tapped on the window for us to meet them outside.

After going to a few stores, we got something to eat at Wendy’s and some of us went to Five Guys. When everyone was finished eating, we went to Liberty Place to take a gander at what they had to offer. We went to a few stores such as Express and Bloomingdales. We didn’t find anything we needed in those stores, but after looking through a few more stores, we finally found this clothing store that was small and not a commonly known shop, but had things that we needed to complete our outfits.

I wanted to go to Bath & Body Works while we were in Liberty Place, so me and one of my other friends went there while the others were checking out of the previous store. As I walked into the store, my nose filled with various aromas and my senses were awakened. I noticed that they were having a sale on hand sanitizers, 5 for $6. Above the display, I saw another sign that was talking about gifts for Mother’s day. I asked the lady at the front desk,

“Hey what is the mother’s day sale?”

She said, “You can make your own bag or set of body washes, lotions and sprays for a certain price.” So I went to the section that she pointed to and started putting things together.

On the way back home I was thinking about previous years, what I got her and how she reacted. Those years in the past I realized that each year my gifts were like an upgrade from the previous year. As I was getting older, I was thinking more of others and giving myself more to people. I was becoming more emotional with my cards, I was using words and memories that I knew would mean something to her. The cards turned into 2 page letters, the little hand painted things turned into things bought with my money and the little poems written by 7 year olds to meaningful words written by a mature 15 year old.

When I got home, I re-wrapped the gift and added something else to it. I also found a really nice little gift bag to put in that kind of fit the theme of the gift that I got her. Later in the week I wrote her a really nice little heartfelt letter that came to me as I went along. I had to hide it in my room until it was Mother’s Day. On Mother’s day when I gave it to her she read the letter first and as her eyes went down the paper, her eyes filled with tears. When she finally opened the gift, she gave me a big hug, thanked me and told me,

“This is one of the best Mother’s Days yet.”