Sunday, May 13, 2012

First Mother's Day

So every year at church on Mother's Day, the whole service is dedicated to mothers and the youth generally pass out flowers or chocolates to all the mothers sitting in the room. The children all get up and sing and it's as sweet as can be...

...unless of course you happen to be infertile, right?

I have skipped/ tried to skip/ failed to skip every Mother's Day at church for the past few years.  About 3-4 years ago I was actually the person in charge of putting together the flowers/chocolates.  Ugh.  I have a distinct memory of sitting in a bathroom stall crying that day.  

It's not that anyone was excluding me -- not at all.  The flowers and chocolates were there for pretty much any woman in the congregation over age 18.  When I was 19 and 20 I was happy to take my share.  When I was trying and trying to have children it was not so easy.  If I took the chocolate I felt bad.  If I didn't take it, I felt worse.  It was lose/lose on pretty much every front.  

This year it was a whole different story.  This year I sat in the back of the meeting room listening with one ear while trying to wrangle a two-year-old into something resembling, um, not rowdiness.  It took Jason, my mom and myself to do it, but we were mostly successful.  We came home for lunch and naps, went for a long walk just the 3 of us to throw bread to the ducks (who were mostly absent) and came home to put together dinner for my mom and dad.

In short, this mother's day was FABULOUS for me.  Hands down awesome.

And yet...

I remember.

This is not the most inclusive holiday on earth.  I have good friends and loved ones who have lost children in infancy and in pregnancy.  I share my motherhood with a woman thousands of miles away that I might never know.  I know people who are barely on speaking terms with their grown children.  I have loved ones who are still waiting and waiting for marriage, nevermind what comes after.  I have more friends sitting in the same spot that I sat for the last 8 years of marriage.  I know people who are mourning their own mothers today.  

For me, on those really bad Mother's Day days, I just wanted someone to reach out and remember me.

So I'll remember for the rest of you.

If you are grieving today -- because of death, because of relinquishment, because of miscarriage -- I am remembering you today.

If you are waiting today -- for an ART to work, for someone to make those kids with -- I am remembering you today.

And to Max's other Mama -- for whom this is not a holiday at all -- I am remembering you today too.