I have two moms. A birth mom and a step mom. Or, as I called it when I was eight, a Real Mom and a Fake Mom. Ouch. Kids can be so harsh with their word choice without meaning to be. With that said, my step mom was a shining example of motherhood and I’m so thankful life found a way of bringing us together. My birth mom and I are friends, too, so it all worked out somehow.
When I was shy of three, however, it was my Dad that was both mother and father to me. One of my first memories is that of me and my dad sitting in front of the tv with aluminium foil TV dinners resting before us on folding trays. This was the early 80s so you can imagine most of that was hardly food content. I know that he was working full time as well as raising me. And I know my grandparents took me on as their responsibility, too. Perhaps I should have also sent my Dad a card, thanking him for his time of solo parenting me.
There were many years when I didn’t think I would earn my Mother’s Day card. Soon after I married, we tried to start a family. Life didn’t work out as we had hoped and after the second devastation of failed IVF, we gave up on the struggle. Every year, when Mother’s Day showed itself on the calendar, I would retreat into myself and experience all shades of sadness. For anyone struggling with fertility issues, it’s a battle no one could possibly understand unless they’ve experienced it for themselves. The longing and shame (some feel) the hope then devastating disappointment can crush a person. Or, a relationship, which is what happened to us.
Then there are those people that look at this date with dread because they have lost their own mothers. How to pass the day? Do you mark it somehow or bury your head and pretend it isn’t happening. And what about all those signs on the shops ‘Don’t forget to buy your mother a card!’ You wish you could, but you can’t so fuck off. Right?
And then there is us. And here we are, L and I and the happy surprise she will always be to me. As I haven’t a partner to do something cute like sign a card on her behalf, I bought my own card and will let her draw big sheep with 8 legs and a dozen eyes on the front, back, inside, then all over her hand and probably on her face.
Our day won’t be that ideal Hallmark Day but it will be another day for an excuse to have an adventure with someone I love. And to also be thankful for both of my mothers who did what was necessary to bring me out into the world and raised me to be the crazy weird thing that I am today.