The day…for me anyway… has never been as much about feeling honored as a mom as it has been about feeling accepted into that private club of motherhood.
My first 9 years of marriage were marked with an increasing struggle of infertility that prevented me from being a mom. The 16 years since have been a fight to be recognized by my own children as a mom.
During those first years I somehow just knew that if and when I could become a mom something magical would happen *cue magic wand sound effect* and I would be happy!!!
So all of those Mother’s Day church services that left me out of the loop were spent longing to be among those who got to stand/come to the front/raise their hands and receive a gift etc. It just wasn’t fair that I be excluded just because my body refused to conceive & carry. But I had hope that one day I would be among the select chosen.
And, one day I was.
We brought home our first child in April. One month before Mothers day… Oh RAPTURE!!!! I would be one of those who was honored and blessed. Joy Joy!!!!!
The morning arrived and somehow fell so short of what I had envisioned… The three year old dimpled cherub who called me mommy was not at all interested in either gifting me or honoring me…in fact he wasn’t the least bit interested in even being nice to me. Truth be known, he seemed to be focused on making this day that belonged to mom a BAD day. But that couldn’t be….surely I was imagining it. It’s not like he would actually do that, would he?
We have a photo of me standing in the kitchen while Mr. T tries to convince Ebear to hand over the goods. It just wasn’t happening. I was in tears. Ebear was mad because he didn’t want to give this mommy anything and didn’t want to be forced to either. And in retrospect, who could blame him. Poor little guy, just a month before he had a different mommy and probably wished he was still with her. And that was the birth of a tradition in our house. Mother’s day has been difficult since… for both of us.
The years since then have been filled with memories; good and bad and in-between. Some good attempts at being nice to mom have been marked by Mr. T and the boys cooking breakfast or dinner for me and giving me great gifts that they gave great thought to…But some have left me wanting to either stay home alone or leave home. In fact I do remember one where I asked Mr. T if I could please just go away and we discussed me doing just that. For some reason it didn’t happen but the idea carried me through.
This year I find that my little dimpled cherub is gone. He’s 19 now. Last we heard he was living on the streets trying to hold down a job. I can’t say I feel overly successful as a mother knowing that I have a child who is homeless. But he chose this. And while I know he has attachment issues and needs to push away I wonder if I could have been just a little more “attachable” and made him want to stay. No amount of reassurance removes that doubt.
So this year, I don’t even know that I will see E. I will see the other boys. We will have a special family dinner. There will be a Mother’s Day celebration…because that’s how we roll. But I will still not quite feel that I have arrived. That special club eludes me.
Am I a mom? Yep, made it. Am I the mom I thought I would be? No. Am I the mom my kids wanted me to be? Absolutely not! I was a replacement, a substitute, a stand-in at best. Am I their mom? Yes. I have the paperwork and the scars to prove it. But do I have their hearts?… well the song says “2 out of 3 ain’t bad”, but following that early pattern of never being happy, I want the full Monty. So I’ll hold out. Maybe next year.