Saturday, May 13, 2017

Mother's Day

This is my eighth Mother's Day as a mother. I gotta say, the first five were pretty great and then. Well, then my mom died three days before Mother's Day in 2014.  I spent that Mother's Day driving eight hours  back to Texas from my mom's funeral.  That one probably ranks as one of the crappiest days of my life. After that, Mother's Day just seems to be a bit of a mixed bag for me.  On one hand, I love being a mom. I love these two monkey boy children beyond all reason and I am happy to be reminded that even though they've started trying to fart the alphabet, they've made my life immeasurably happier and I am incredibly grateful to be their mom. But I'm not sure I'll ever truly be able to enjoy Mother's Day again.

I don't mind so much the wall-to-wall pink in all the stores. I can ignore that, mainly because my eyesight is not what it used to be and as long as I'm not wearing my reading glasses, I can just pretend it's all one big super sale on Pepto Bismol. It's just...right when everyone is reminding you how much you should love and appreciate your mom, I don't have mine anymore. And it hurts. Still hurts.

 I had my mom for 42 years, but it wasn't enough. I didn't call and talk with her enough. I didn't ask her about her childhood enough. I didn't ask her for advice enough.  My boys didn't get enough time to get to know her. They won't remember her, they were just too young when she died. How do I make sure they know who she was? I show them pictures and they recognize her as my mom, but they won't ever know her as "Grandma Donald" like all the other grandkids did. Sometimes I get irrationally angry at myself for waiting as long as I did to have children. If I had them ten years sooner, they would have known her better. I know it's a stupid thing to think, but grief doesn't exactly help things make more sense. That's what Mother's Day does to me: simultaneously makes me be grateful for what I have but regretful I didn't do more. I have yet to be able to strike some sort of balance or find peace with it.

But this year, I've decided that it's ok to give myself a little bit of time to be sad and to cry about how unfair it is that I won't be able to hug my mom on Mother's Day. I'm going to let myself... MISS her. And then I'm going to take my boys to Schlitterbahn for their very first time ever. We're going to spend the day running around the water park, riding water rollercoasters that are probably going to make me want to vomit (but I won't because I plan on not eating for 12-16 hours before we go), we're going to get hellaciously sunburnt and exhausted and I'm sure pretty hoarse from screaming with delight. Because I don't know how many Mother's Day those little guys have with me, but I'm going to make every single one of them count.

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