I genuinely believe if you ask any adoptive mama their thoughts on Mother’s Day they would all tell you some variation of the word “conflicted”.
My friend Jody once said it best (and it has been spread throughout all the interwebs for all of the days. So awesome-and surreal-to see a friend quoted by random people in the Twitterverse and the Facebook. I always think, “If only they knew her in real life they would know this is at the bottom of the list of brilliant things she has said in our last phone conversation alone.”)
A child born to another woman calls me mommy. The magnitude of that tragedy and the depth of that privilege is not lost on me.
It’s impossible when looking at 3 of my sons on Mother’s Day to not think about the beautiful women who gave birth to them.
My heart is so full because their arms are empty.
None of that is lost on any of us adoptive mamas, at least none that I’m aware of.
I used to get a little melancholy on big holidays but I started to realize it wasn’t doing anyone any good. I want my kids to feel exactly what they are genuinely feeling. If they are feeling sad then I can walk through that with them. But if they are feeling genuine happiness and desire to spoil me rotten with abandon who am I to stop them?
And spoil me they did. Not anything out of the ordinary, per se, but there was more intentionality in their praises. If I’m being honest I love it more when they utter words of love or sweetness unprompted and without reason. Though I believe they meant every sweet sweet word they wrote yesterday, there’s just something about moments of vulnerability not sponsored by Hallmark. 😉
That said, my parents had “offered” to come help us paint Mother’s Day weekend. In hindsight, I’m so thankful they did as it would’ve been my first ever Mother’s Day wherein I wasn’t sharing it with my mom or Mom-in-law and sisters. Half the fun of being a mom is sharing the experience with those women so I am so grateful my mama was with us.
It was just the second day (and first that Zach was with us) in which the temps reached high into the 80s. My parents have owned a boat since I was born so I would definitely consider myself a water baby. Of all the elements, water is where I find the most peace. Whether I’m in it or just near it, I am as close as I get to a fully realized individual. (My first shot at kayaking-I’m in love!!! Now that I’m used to paddling I’m wanting to switch to a stand up paddle board. And then paddle board yoga. Yes please!)
I am not exaggerating when I say I think anything nice my kids might ever be able to say about me would only be true because Zach is such a great dad. The competitor in me can’t rest until I’m keeping pace with this guy. I’m always far behind, but that’s to be expected when they have Zach (who took the littles out to teach them how to properly paddle, and rescued our indoor kitty when he broke out into the great outdoors etc) for a dad.
I got to spend an hour with Trysten in the hammock talking about life, love and his hopes/fears about middle school (he starts in the fall. Bless it). Certainly my favorite moments of motherhood are spent one-on-one with my kids when I rediscover who they truly are and when they can feel my supreme love for them.
I’m not sure if you remember but I’m also a mama to 4 four-legged babies too. If you could see my pictures on my phone I would be totally embarrassed with the sheer amount of photos I have of my 2 dogs and 2 cats. I find them irresistible and adorable.
Local beers were also involved because you guys, this is the best beer I’ve ever tasted. I love all of the Bell’s beer that I’ve tried.
I loved all of my notes and gifts from my babes but this one was just precious. I could tell he spent a little more time on it, which made it super special. (Note: “Tomas creeping you out” is an inside joke. When Tomas first came home he really, really didn’t like me so he would just sit in a corner and stare at me. When we now talk about them first coming home we tease Tomas about “creepin'” on me and all have a good laugh. No need to worry, Tomas no longer creeps me out. 😉 )
Look, I love being a mom. It’s my favorite. I’m often amazed to find I love motherhood even in the very worst moments. Even in the fear that I’m effing it all up, I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else with my life. But I also believe yesterday was a day to celebrate the aunties in our lives that treat our babies so very well. Or the birth moms who can’t hear “mother” without thinking of loss. Or the women who have lost children who feel the same way. Because I am a mama of dogs and cats I recognize these women deserve a mention too-not everyone treats animals as humans-I think that’s pretty special.
So Happy (belated) Mother’s Day, fellow women. Thanks for inspiring me and encouraging me and helping me along the way. Many blessings.