I am an only child from a single-parent household, and when I was growing up money was very tight. There were several years where my mom and I lived in a one bedroom apartment. My mom gave me the bedroom and slept on a fold-out couch in the living room. While it was just what we did at the time, I realize it came at the expense of my mom's own privacy. She told me that it was important that I had my own space.
Even though my mom loved cream in her coffee, she only used milk. At thirty cents more per ounce than regular milk, a pint was an extravagance we couldn't afford.
This was the beginning of an annual gift that lasted until I was in my teens. I would buy her a pint of half & half, wrap it in Christmas paper and keep her 'gift' in the refrigerator until it was time to open presents. It brought me great pleasure, and took several years for me to realize that once was a 'surprise' and any more than that was a tradition.
When I was old enough to realize how poor we actually were, I was embarrassed by how little we had. It took me many years to realize the gift in all of this. Despite not having enough money to justify spending a couple dollars on cream for coffee, we had all that we needed.
Thanks for being such a good sport, Mom. I love you always. Happy Mother's Day.