I have the hardest time with this particular day. For the most part, I like to treat Mother’s Day like it’s Sunday. That’s it. Sunday. I know that seems silly, maybe a bit naive. Reality is, though, my main goal is to try and head off as many reminders that they’re missing their mother as I can. It may have been two years already but that doesn’t change that my kids all have been dealing with losing their mother in far different ways.
Some handle it better than others, too.
But that’s not the way the world is set up. It’s funny how that is, too. The boys’ class, in particular, has been making Mother’s Day presents for awhile. I don’t say this claiming the class should avoid it because my two boys don’t have a Mom . . . but my sons, being only 10, did have to ask the teacher what they were supposed to do . . . “we don’t have a Mom any more,” they told them. In the end they decided to split their duties and one made a book for his Aunt, Andrea’s sister, and the other for Andrea’s Mom.
Hannah, my middle child, decided she was going to take a totally different tactic, which I loved: she mad her Dad a Mother’s Day card.
“This is totally weird, I know, but HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, DAD!” it said.
It was so quirky, funny, and just so . . . us . . . that I had to smile.
“I love it, Hannah,” I told her. Her older sister even laughed out loud and told her it was perfect.
It’s not that I want to say that I deserve anything on Mother’s Day, I don’t, I didn’t carry them. I didn’t suffer the pain of childbirth. I didn’t go through all that.
But I see the dichotomy of it being more than a bit unfair, particularly in my situation.
The “Mother’s Day Tea” that the school has every year has a policy: the kids whose Moms don’t come don’t get to attend. That seemed a bit unfair to me. I get it . . . some Moms work, or can’t or hell…maybe they’re just nasty. I don’t know. But even then . . . should that be the kid’s fault? Should they have to sit in the Extended Day Program room and watch Cinderella while the other kids eat biscotti or brownies and hobnob around? I was saved, yet again this year, by the Mom of one of Hannah’s best friends when she asked if she could play surrogate Mom to the kids. That way they all got to have the experience.
But then . . . what about Dad? You know what I get? “Donuts with Dad.” Not that I don’t like a good fattening treat now and then, but Mom gets a “high tea” with a full plate and all that and Dad gets donuts that have been out all morning during the school book fair. That’s right, we get to eat donuts, burnt coffee, and get lobbied by our children to buy tons of more books and school items during the morning that lasts 20-30 minutes in a chaotic rush of screaming children hopped up on sugar.
I may sound bitter, but I’m not. I understand that most houses are set up this way, even if there’s a divorce or what have you.
But we’re not a typical family. We’ve never been anything typical, as a matter of fact. I’ve always cooked. I changed diapers. I took the kids to the hospital. I’ve tried my best to be sturdy and strong when the kids needed it. I’ve learned more about the female menstrual cycle than I ever knew. I know what brands of tampons to buy. I know what foods to cook. I know chocolate helps mood swings. I know that I have to measure my kid’s boobs for a fancy dress, even though that’s not too comfortable a subject to broach, or the dress won’t zip up. I cook. I clean.
But in the end, it’s not a complaint. I love them all – every – single – one – and differently.
So it was another Sunday. I took the kids to see their Grandma, who is not well now, and they swam in the pool with their cousins. They ate watermelon and had a piece of cake and it was like any other visit to their cousin’s house.
But for me . . . it was a great mother’s day, because I actually got a card. I’m not perfect, but I’m doing some of the mothering right. To me, Hannah’s card proves it.