It's Mother's Day. According to Facebook and Pinterest I should be basking in the glow of my angelic children enjoying breakfast in bed that they've made assisted by a bumbling and well-meaning husband. Flowers, sticky kisses, and handprint cards are par for the course in this fantasy world. Instead, I will get up, drink coffee, shower, and head into work. Before cursing my employer please know- this was my decision.
You see, I have a complicated relationship with Mother's Day. Growing up we did the traditional "queen for a day" route for my mom. My dad would help us pick out a gift. We'd sign a sappy card and deliver breakfast on a tray. When I had my son I had visions of this same formula being a part of my Sunday in May annually. Except it wasn't. You see I married a man who was a great father but not a great husband (for me). We separated and due to my job being heavily travel and him living with his parents custody was established primarily with him. Some Mother's Days after that I'd be elated to get a gift in the mail and a phone call. Other Mother's Days I'd be crying in my studio apartment because I hadn't heard from him and how could I be a mother without my child? I wanted to lift him up and get those sticky kisses that other moms got so freely.
I'm happily remarried now and that little boy is a big nine year old who serenaded me on the phone today with "Happy Mother's Day" set to the tune of Happy Birthday. He will also spend today celebrating his stepmother who I appreciate more than she will ever know for providing a comforting maternal figure in his daily life. My two little girls will stop by with their dad and grandpa later to say hi and I will get wet kisses (the baby thinks kiss means lick). But still Mother's Day is not an idyllic holiday. There are those who have lost mothers, women struggling to become pregnant, mothers who have lost babies or grown children, and mothers who don't have their children with them.
Today as I go into my zen place and scoop coffee at the roaster's I will reflect on all the women who have made me who I am today. One is my amazing mother, one was my husband's mother who I never met but who made him the man he is today, and then there are so many others- bosses, teacher's, friends' moms, and friends who are new moms. The love that we show each other shapes the next generation. Happy Mother's Day, no matter how complicated it may be.