I saw a male cardinal in terror and pain, downed by an automobile in the center of the road. It saddened me, but my only wish was for an end to its suffering, and soon. In my rearview mirror another car made my wish come true, but tears welled in my eyes. There goes another life. Another beautiful waste. And I wonder why I ever thought there was a point to this madness I call “paying attention.”
“So my amazing daughter, Emma, turned 5 last month, and I had been searching everywhere for new-creative inspiration for her 5yr pictures. I noticed quite a pattern of so many young girls dressing up as beautiful Disney Princesses, no matter where I looked 95% of the “ideas” were the “How to’s” of how to dress your little girl like a Disney Princess…We chose 5 women (five amazing and strong women), as it was her 5th birthday but there are thousands of unbelievable women (and girls) who have beat the odds and fought (and still fight) for their equal rights all over the world”
- Jaime Moore, Not Just a Girl
Got the coolest Wonder Woman card from the kids. Plays the theme song when you open it! :D
Trying to decide whether or not to cook for myself today or let the crew hassle me through a breakfast out. This Mother’s Day restaurant thing is not for the faint of heart.
I want to share something else, too. It’s really personal, so if you hate that stuff, just scroll on by. Here’s the thing. It’s Mother’s Day and my mom is dead. With a few notable exceptions, my family of origin is dead. I feel no pain about it, either. Not anymore.
Every FATHER’S DAY, I miss my dad. For years after his death, the loss was unbearable. It wasn’t that he was the best father the world has ever seen, but he definitely got better than a passing grade for trying, and for actually being there for me. If he hadn’t have died so young I probably wouldn’t have been so traumatized that I bent myself around so much to try and please an abusive alcoholic mother. But it did happen, and I did do what any grieving child would do, I think.
I can’t help but think of my mother on Mother’s Day. Of the heartfelt letters I wrote her, of the cards, flowers, gifts, photographs…frankly, she never deserved it. Yes, she gave birth to me but why she made me work so hard to receive any sign of love, only God will ever know.
The point is, I RELEASE her. The only tears I want to fall on the baby in my lap are those of joy. I loved and needed my mother, and now my children love and need me. My needs were never met by my mother and I won’t even go into my present consternation with God, but I accept it in the way an amputee accepts a phantom limb. I don’t LIKE it, but I accept it. And I release her because eventually that’s what we all have to do when it comes to life’s biggest, most bitter disappointments.
I CAN’T steep in disappointment, betrayal, or pain. Not for long. Maybe for a dunk now and then, but then it’s time to crawl back up out of the soup, towel off and smile again.
It’s Mother’s Day today. I am a true mother. Might not be perfect, but I am heads & shoulders in aptitude above the parent my own was. I didn’t know my grandparents on either side of the family. I didn’t know my aunts. My older siblings were absent from my life. I grew up isolated and disconnected from parents of friends, as my mother jerked me around from one home to another. It was impossible to get to know any one kind motherly figure for long. It’s possible that books and movies informed my expectation of family relationships more than anything else. For many years I had to sort my expectations of what a family was SUPPOSED to be like from what I actually had, from what culture told me to expect. It created a very painful rift inside me, a lot of turmoil. When I became a mother, myself, I didn’t know myself anymore. I didn’t have a clue what to do other than love that little boy, then his brother, then their brother, too. Three little peas in a pod smiling up at one very bewildered woman. What brave souls they were.
By the time GiGi was on the way, I had found the kind of family that suited me. I had found a partner who supported my efforts to be the best mother I can be. In some ways, even though I have been at this for 12 years, I am still at the beginning of my journey.
This path does not confuse or frighten me. It excites me. It tests me, sure, but I love it. I love my family and I love my kids. I feel as though I am the first of my kind sometimes, a new Eve blazing a trail through the wilderness of parenting, with the apple and serpent and all that so far behind me, that all I can see now is the brightness of the future, of every single day.
This post would not be complete without mentioning the miscarriages this year. There were two, possibly three. I don’t know why I didn’t have those babies, but for a short time with each pregnancy, I was FILLED with the joy of expecting a new life to nurture and love, to raise with my awesome husband and our fantastic kids. I mean it when I say I don’t know what to think about God anymore…but I trust in whatever God is when I accept that these pregnancies weren’t meant to be. I can’t live in the pain and the angst of the loss and the disappointment. I waited 40 years for a mother that I wanted, who never showed. I won’t spend another day in disappointment and loss over the babies. I loved them, but they weren’t meant to stay. I wanted them, but there was nothing I could do to make them real. The same could be said of my mother and it’s not lost on me.
The more I release what is painful from my past, the faster I am present in joy and in love for my family today, right now. And HERE is where I want to be, building memories for tomorrow. Someday I will be gone and WhateverGodIs willing, I want to leave my four children some sort of blueprint for tomorrow. Even if they decide to do everything different, so help me, I want them to know I tried. <3
I’m no Wonder Woman, not by a long shot. But when the sun sets on my career as a mother, I hope my kids will know I by God tried.