As you know, historically Mothers Day (pre kidlet) was a day of exquisite pain and loss for me. A day of constant reminders of broken ties and broken hearts.
Then I had my daughter. And while the sentiment of Mother's day was not one I actively sought or engaged in I found comfort and peace with the day.
This year was different for me. Unexpectedly so if I am completely honest.
My kidlet, now a big kid in school, became obsessed with the idea of a day long mom fest. Something I never wanted or needed before. The secretive planning with her Dad. The hinted breakfast in bed and Mom is awesome activities were whispered and giggled over for the last 2 weeks.
I found myself actually looking forward to her excitement and her pride in having me as her Mommy. She couldn't wait on Friday to gift me with her school made treasure. I cried at the sweet handwriting and the adorable card claiming that we like to clean together. What? Seriously? Cleaning? Okay baby. I love you too!
I had to hide myself away during the Lowe's build Saturday morning and walk eyes shut so I didn't ruin my surpise for the next morning. And I did so happily.
I was a kid waiting on Santa. Heck the tooth fairy visited Friday night. Magic was afoot! My Grove's Beltane was a truly mystical Saturday afternoon and I was poised to tip over into the full on Mother's Day mode! I wanted it badly, embarrassingly so. Who have I become?!
Let me caveat that I do not begrudge any woman her joy in Mother's Day. I do not find fault in the happiness and closeness it brings many. I also deeply and intimately know the pain of those, motherless, childless, alone, and grieving who find MD a yearly reminder of sadness and anger and loss.
But for me looking forward to Mother's day is unheard of and unexpected. I was joyous to no longer dread the day. That was gift enough for me.
So when my child asked to leave me alone yesterday to go off with her Dad and Uncle to finally fish I had to say an emphatic Yes! (It must be noted the men in my life thought it would make me happy to have a me day. They were being thoughtful and I appreciate that effort. ) She has longed for that moment for a whole year. She and her Daddy got their first licenses Saturday night and the pride and joy radiated of my kid like waves of heat from a pot belly stove. Not a chance in hell would I stiffle that enthusiasm. No matter how strangely sad it made me.
I spent the whole day alone. And truth told a goodly portion sad and hurt. I cried over my own broken maternal connections. And I missed not being able to get breakfast in bed.
I was happily given my hand made card and wooden planter so lovingly made by my daughter and husband.
I was proudly shown the carefully selected geranium and lavender plants that were my motherly honors. And I love them!
Then without a wave goodbye they left.
I know that I did the right thing. I know that if our vehicle could carry 6 I would've been right in the thick of it yesterday.
I would've watched the near misses and the first casts and the boredom of fishing in the hot sun. They had a ball. I am so grateful for that and to the amazing fathers who made that experience possible!
They took the cousins home then came back hot and content. I was hungry and trying not to be hurt (I could've said no way to the fishing after all. But that would've been so wrong of me to do.)
We quarreled over dinner and I got to have what I wanted only by default and then we fussed and cajoled kidlet through her meal so we could take her mini golfing. (A promised event from Saturday she didn't get to do because I was selfishly socializing still at Beltane.)
So I was feeling like an ass by this point of the day. Angry with myself for being upset. Angry at myself for being selfish. And frustrated that on the day of celebrating being a mom I felt like the single worst mom ever. (A feeling I often have as I suspect most moms carry.)
And then magic happened. We went mini golfing. We played and laughed and argued and corrected and enjoyed each other. We revelled the families around us. All of us with our small kidlets. Spending that hour engaged washed away all the negative impact of Mother's Day for me.
I wasn't wallowing in past pain. I wasn't kicking myself for feeling adrift. I wasn't doing anything more that playing mini golf, badly, and enjoying every minute of being together.
We haven't felt like that in a while. I haven't felt connected to them in a while. And I know that has been my own fault.
I've been disconnecting. I've been tied to my electronic escape or my artistic endevours or my religious pursuits or my 'free time'. And I recognized my own feelings of guilt about being so aloof and distanced.
So lots to think upon. Lots to process.
May your days be filled with small connection. Don't feel sad when others share their happiness. Try to embrace it. It can help sometimes to soften the edges of your own pain. Don't let expectations ruin a perfectly good afternoon.
And enjoy Mother's day if you want to. Insulate if you need to. Rage and mourn if it is what you must. Respect that for some the tidal wave of all things warm and motherly is hurtful but we don't begrudge you, your happiness.
Most of all be gentle with yourselves. No matter the origin of Mother's day nor it's commercial aspects we all can make of it as we will.
I'm looking forward to another year's worth of perfecting my role as Mom. I fall and I rise. I succeed and I rejoice. But at the heart of all of it is a child, that we created, who just needs a mother's love and guidance. And for her I'd stay home alone forever if it meant her happiness. I'd eat dry toast and know it a feast.
I guess it was a happy Mother's Day after all.