Today is my first Mother's Day, or better said, it's the first time I am celebrating Mother's Day as a mom, and it feels good to have this day for me.
I get to join the ranks of moms who we celebrate on this day. I will revel in the spa certificates, ugly pasta pictures that spell out "I Luv You Mom" in macaroni, the last-minute flowers, hand-made cards, or whatever husbands and kids can come up with to give their overtired, underpaid wives and mothers.
Sign me up for a hand-painted clay mug. I am so ready.
I am just happy that this day has a new meaning in my life, and that it is all about me.
Yeah, yeah, I am selfish, get over it.
Mother's day has always been bittersweet. My mother died when I was 11. She suffered from depression, and although she tried, she could not get better and took her own life. That was the worst day of my life.
I remember everything that happened that day; the police came to our house, my father crying in the other room (I had never heard my father cry before). My sister and I huddled together sobbing because we knew that whatever they were going to tell us, it was bad.
At one point we snuck outside, we looked in the window of the police cruiser, and there was a picture of our Mom on the dash. Eventually, they sat us down and told us what happened. I spoke with her that morning, and I should have known something was off. Saying it was devastating does not do it justice.
She was an amazing mom until she died. She was relaxed and fun and creative and showed us her love in so many ways. She let us color on the walls, run through mud, and play with pots and pans. I love that we have the same hands. Looking back, I had no idea that she was unhappy. But, the loss of her, of what she did, has followed me throughout my entire life. It has also helped me to define my path. I always felt that I had to live a little bit extra and do a little bit more because she could not. I have always said to myself when I become a mom; I am going to be the Mom she couldn't be.
It is still hard to talk about, and even writing about her death is a challenge all these years later, and as Mother's Day comes around, I have to relive all the feelings the anger, the shock, the resentment, the guilt, the deep, deep sadness. I know there are many out there that can relate.
So every year, when all the other mom-daughter duos are out at the spa, and the kids are making mom heart-shaped pancakes. When everyone is posting old pictures or videos of their mothers on Instagram with Tupac's Dear Moma playing in the background, well, it stings.
(I prefer Mama by Boys II Men btw).
Regardless of these feelings, I have always put on a happy face and sent out loving messages to all the mothers I know. Through the jealousy and hurt, I know I have support and I am luckier than most.
After my mother died, all the women in my life rallied around me and wrapped me in what felt like a protective cocoon of love. My sisters have always taken care of me, I have the most amazing and loving stepmother, my godmother considers me a daughter, and I have so many loving Aunts. My grandmother, an equally amazing woman, was one of the most prominent figures throughout my life.
My childhood best friends have also been by my side through it all. I feel like they would take a bullet for me, our bond is that strong. So Mother's Day, to me, is really about sisterhood, and even better, it is now about my daughter, Adeline, and me.
I am so grateful that she is here, and I get to smother her with love, which is exactly how I plan to spend my first Mother's Day (and maybe get some me-time, or sleep too).
Happy Mother's Day to all the women who have taken care of others with love and kindness; this is your day too.
Welcome to the sisterhood, Adeline.