On this day last year: Mother’s Day. I went to a brunch at a nearby function facility with my mother and grandmother. Neither knew I was pregnant; in fact, my mother commented that I looked like I lost weight. The three plate fulls of food argued otherwise. I was still in the first trimester. I remember that as we were leaving I used the ladies room and dropped my phone in there. I had to run back in after just about pulling out of the parking lot to leave. I remember seeing all the young kids with their mothers and wondering if next year it would be me. I remember fantasizing about it in my mind, wondering what it would be like.
Now McLovin is here. He was there last year too, in a way. We are going to brunch with my mother and grandmother at one of our local country clubs. The Husband goes to lunch with his mother, aunts and grandmother and I go to brunch with my mother and grandmother. That’s the way it’s always been; I joined them for one of their lunches many years ago and I was NOT a fan of the restaurant or food so I never went again. Well, today she showed up bright and early to watch McLovin, as she does every Monday and Wednesday. And asked “Is McLovin coming with The Husband on Sunday?” To be honest, I forgot all about Sunday. When Mother’s Day has been awful trigger for years, you tend not to think about it much or count down the days. I asked, “What’s Sunday? Where is The Husband going?” And she reminded me that it’s Mother’s Day. And said “McLovin is coming to lunch with The Husband, yes?” Nodding her head yes, as if by doing that I would agree. I told her that, McLovin and I are going to brunch with my mother and grandmother and we aren’t going to rush, so I don’t know what time we’ll be home. Maybe if we are home on time, McLovin will go with The Husband. Maybe not. She then commented that surely I’d want the afternoon to myself and she and her sisters would love holding him.
In years past I would see all the picture perfect photos on social media of others and their “perfect” Mothers Day celebrations. Some women with their kids; some women without their kids and toasting themselves. My best friend M would always get together with her mother, sister and some of their mother/daughter friends sets. They’d leave the kids at home and drive to Newport for lunch and drinks. This year I was invited, with my mother of course. “Leaving the kids at home with the men, going for lunch + drinks and having a day off from it all. LMK if you want to go.” I would always have a pang of envy when I saw the yearly photo of them all out by the water, smiling and celebrating themselves. They were mothers and I was not, at least not in the way that mattered to society. But now I’ve been invited, I’M IN THE CLUB, and I’m not sure that I want to go! It’s interesting to me that for them, Mother’s Day is about being WITHOUT the kids. And when I think about it tonight, right now, I think about being with McLovin and doing something fun as a family – a walk on the beach, a walk around the park, visiting a zoo. It’s not a judgment on them, or on how they view/acknowledge the holiday, just an observation.
I’ve waited and struggled through three Mother’s Days since my first loss (Mothers’ Days? What is the appropriate plural?!?!) I’ve struggled with the grief and sadness and anger. Maybe I want to be with my son. Yes, maybe I’ll go for a pedicure or for a run or go shopping in the afternoon by myself. Maybe I won’t. But I don’t need my MIL putting her two cents in and assuming what I do or don’t want. I don’t need a big celebration or a big gift, I just want to have a good day being a mom to my boy. And if that includes an hour or two of some mental health “Me Time”, then so be it!