The village is amazing, and many people reached out to me regarding Mother’s day plans and for this I am so incredibly grateful…
I answered them mostly in much the same way, “I have very complicated feelings about mother’s day.”
And that’s the truth. I do. My feelings about mother’s day are very complicated. Mostly, maybe because they are overwhelmingly negative. And no one is supposed to feel negatively about mother’s day, right? Especially not when you are a mother, right?
So at the simplest level there is this: Mother’s day is the day when my husband got sick… and never got better. And that was last year.
But there’s more. We spent many mother’s days at the winery where we got married. In 2015 we had a great day there. I had a bit too much to drink, and that night, after we got the girls to bed, Tim and I had the worst fight of our marriage, or our friendship, of all the years we’d known each other. I was very willing to move on from the memory of that low moment. But Mother’s day 2016, when I was 8 months pregnant, he “had to work” and I took the girls there alone, and met my friends with my pregnant belly for a day at the vineyard. Last year, even before he got sick, he told me he didn’t want to go…. that he couldn’t go there on Mother’s day and remember the lowest point of our relationship. And I was incredibly moved. I was a little bitter, that he was making my holiday about his feelings… but I was also moved that that lowest point in our relationship had such an effect on him.
So last year, I didn’t have a lot planned. Maybe Peterson’s (ice cream) in the afternoon. The girls had swim lessons in the morning.. When he asked me what I wanted for Mother’s day I said…. to sleep in, to get time in the bathroom alone.
I was running low on my perfume. If he could order some more on Amazon that would be great. Maybe it would be great to get another family photo shoot, since the last was in October when Declan was only 3 months old… but it was probably too late for that… He told me I’d get a Mother’s day do-over. He was so incredibly sorry for being sick and not helping with the kids at all all weekend.
But I will never get that Mother’d day do-over. Although honestly, people take a lot of the logistics off my hands. And I have often thought, I’d take all the hard stuff and the exhaustion of the day-to-day, for just one more day with my Tim. But that is not meant to be.
And I often wonder – was I bitter? Or did he think I was? I’d hate for him to have thought that…. there was a text from him that weekend where he thought I was ignoring him and said “I know you’re mad at me but..” And in telegram there is no response to that… but I know I went up to our bedroom and saw him and said “I’m not mad, hun, I’m just tired, and busy. with the kids.. what do you need?” It just makes me hope I wasn’t bitter.
And maybe there’e also the what-ifs. The what-ifs that I try my best to chase away but creep in. What if it wasn’t mothers day but a regular weekend – maybe then he would have given me more details? What if not wanting to burden me on Mother’s Day weekend made him hold back details of how he was feeling that would have raised my red flags sooner, or given me critical information to help the doctors make a diagnosis sooner? What if it being Mother’s day was the problem?
Tonight I went to see the movie Tully with two mom-friends. And in the end, it made me feel better. I don’t remember feeling bitter exactly, but if I did, it was no more than the average new mother with a baby who doesn’t sleep through the night. I loved him. He knew that. No matter if I was exhausted that weekend, no matter if we had that terrible fight in 2015. He knew how much I loved and was dedicated to him, always. I showed it in life, and I show it now.
Maybe some day I will feel differently about Mother’s day, but for now, and for my children, I will grin and survive it, just like I do every day.