This weekend marks my 4th observance of Mothers Day. Thinking about that makes me smile, and then I remember how complicated this holiday is for my daughter and I and my smile fades a bit.
I know that I adore Hope. I know that Hope loves me very much.
In a perfect world, we would never know each other. Hope would be feting her biological mother this weekend 3,000 miles away. They might go to their favorite restaurant. There might be a card; there would be lots of hugs and “thank you mom, you’re awesome” statements.
I would be at my own brunch with my biological children, smiling, laughing with them marveling at these little miracles that came through my body.
But this isn’t a perfect world, and Hope and I have each other, each with all our imperfections and challenges.
I think we both ponder that, even unconsciously, during this holiday. It doesn’t mean that we aren’t a solid family. It does mean that we still have to make time and space for grief.
I know that I won’t have a card waiting for me in the morning when I wake up. I made my own brunch reservation at one of our favorite restaurants. I plan to make her use her debit card (which I finance) to pay for said dinner so that at least I have the illusion of being “treated to brunch.” I figure it will also help her learn what she’s supposed to do—not necessarily for me, but in general regarding these kinds of things.
And then, I will post up at a local hookah bar, order a glass of something yummy and puff away the afternoon. This will give me some time to enjoy myself with no drama (join me if you’re in the DMV area, just drop me an email!). It will also give Hope some time with her own thoughts, which, I’m finding she needs.
During our recent trip to see some family, we acquired some pictures of her mother. I recall just watching Hope look at the pictures. During our time as a family, I’ve gotten pretty good at reading her emotions, but I couldn’t read Hope’s reaction. It was almost vacant; but I know it wasn’t vacant at all. There were and are a lot of tangled up, complicated emotions going on just under the surface. She had no desire to process it with me either. In a nutshell, Hope’s emotional connection/reaction towards her mother is complicated and it’s very much exclusively hers at this point.
I imagine that one day Mother’s Days will be different me and Hope. That we will have a different kind of balance between grief and celebration. We will have fun brunches and lots of smiles and lots of love. This weekend we will have those things, just tempered a bit. It’s ok. Monday will be a new day and we will have gotten through another year of this day, together.