Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day is Always Complicated

My kids have been asking me, over the course of the past week, what I might like from them for Mother's Day.  They have asked with care and excitement and a desire to please.  I keep telling them that I don't need anything from them - a hug and a kiss, perhaps, and a card if they're so inclined, but that's it.

What they don't understand is that they are the gift.  These three beautiful kids that I'm so blessed to have.  These kids I didn't know I'd ever have.  These kids who were the product of years of infertility, years of waiting and crying and pleading with God, years of completing adoption paperwork, years of cycling through a roller coaster of hope at the top of the cycle and dashed dreams at the bottom, years and years of watching those around me have children and then take them for granted and complain about them, years of feeling like always the bridesmaid and never the bride.

It took us seventeen years of marriage to complete our family.  And the end results were the gifts of Matthew, Seth, and Lizzie.

How could Mother's Day, for me, be about anything other than on-my-knees gratitude that I am blessed to be called Mom?  I know there are many other women out there who do not have this opportunity - whether because of un-sought-for childlessness, or because they have lost their own mothers or because they are separated for whatever reason from their children.  I know I am blessed.

And when the kids continue to ask what I'd like for Mother's Day, I understand my further blessing:  That my children love me and that, for them, celebrating this day through gift giving is an expression of that love.


  1. This is beautiful Ruth. I've been waiting to become a mother for five years and have many friends for whom today is difficult because they have lost their mom or a child. Thank you for acknowledging the complexities of this holiday.

    1. Sometimes, Sarah (including on this Mother's Day), I wish we could just scrap this particular day of the year. Sure there's a group of women for whom this day is unmarred by complexities...but there are sooo many, at various stages of their lives, for whom the day is loaded with issues (sadness, resentment, longing, despair...I'm sure you could add your own adjectives here). Technically I'm now one of those women for whom Mother's Day should be awesome...I'm now a mother and I have a living mother.
      The very first Mother's Day that we celebrated after Matthew was born, 11 years ago, WAS an awesome day - I gloried in it...exulted in it.
      But I have to say that since then, it's been hard not to remember all of the pain that went before. It's like Mother's Day is a day to dredge up all of the baggage that hasn't been fully resolved yet. I still skip church on Mother's Day - including this year - because despite best efforts to acknowledge the myriad of women out there, it's still a painful reminder of all of those years.

      Anyway, Sarah, if you've been reading here for a while, you know how I like to ramble I'll stop now. But regardless of whether or not Mother's Day continues to exist, I so hope for you that the day finally comes when you are a mother, Sarah.

      Blessings, and thanks for commenting.