Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day

If you've been reading my blog for a while . . . you have my sympathies. Ha! I kid, I kid.  I was going to say that if you've been reading my blog for a few years, you know that Mother's Day always seems to cause me a lot of angst. My husband is a good egg, but he's not what you'd call the thoughtful type. Or the plan-ahead type.

I think a lot of it boils down to birth order. No, seriously. Hear me out. I am the oldest in my family and he is the youngest in his. I've had to make decisions all of my life. As the baby, he never really had to make a lot of decisions. Normally, I'm okay with having to manage every single aspect of our lives but sometimes it would be great just to hear, "You just relax. I'm on it."  On Mother's Day, he typically says something more like, "Well, I guess we could go out to brunch. Where do you want to go?"  It leaves me feeling like I've caused some sort of inconvenience just by being a mother on Mother's Day.

This year, in an attempt to throw the guy a bone, I went to World Market's website, picked out a few items that I like, and added them to a wish list. I figured that I would solve the "what do I buy" dilemma for him and it would sort of be a surprise since I wouldn't know exactly which item(s) he would choose from the wish list. We have a World Market located about 30 minutes from our home. When I sent him the link to the wish list, I gave him the location for the store.  A day later he called me and said, "I ordered some stuff for you from that list, but they won't be here in time for Mother's Day."

I responded, "Oh, I guess I thought you'd take the kid and go to the store or something."

"Well," he said, "I'm not going to drive all the way down there if I don't know for sure that they have the stuff in the store."

That's what he said, but what I heard was, "You're such a horrible mother that I can't be bothered to drive a half-hour for you."  

Moreover, there seemed to be an implication that it was my own fault that I wouldn't have a gift on Mother's Day because I had not sent the list soon enough.

My feelings were hurt.  I know it sounds silly, but it was never about the gift. It was a matter of wanting to feel like I have some value as a mother. Apparently realizing that he was in danger of never seeing me naked again, my husband attempted to redeem himself on Saturday. He got me some flowers and a balloon.  Then, while I was out biking with the kid, he drove to World Market (he drove all the way down there and, not coincidentally, visited a comic book store nearby) and got me one of the items from my list (one that he had not already ordered).  Then he got me a bottle of wine and a dark chocolate bar.

On Sunday, we did go out to lunch and yes, I had to pick the restaurant myself, but we had a nice time.  I really don't mean to give the guy such a hard time, but honestly, I think he'd be surprised if I didn't make the day just a little bit difficult.  After lunch, we went to the amusement park so that the kid could ride the roller coaster a few more times. I rode it with her twice and then she rode it twice more by herself. P and I watched from down below.  We couldn't really see her - just her arms in the air and some curls flying in the wind. She's some sort of adrenaline junkie now.

The rest of the afternoon was pretty quiet. I called my mother, of course. I had sent her some gifts a few days earlier.  One of the gifts was four packs of satellite wafers.  She ate them all in one sitting so we had a brief chat about whether an intervention is needed. We also discussed my culpability as an enabler.

On a more serious note, Mother's Day dredges up a lot of stuff for me, but there is another person who is never far from my thoughts. Without A's birthmom, I would not be a mom. Her selfless act changed my life forever. I thank her from the bottom of my heart. On Mother's Day, I also thought of one of my fellow May 2005 mommies (from the old Babycenter days). Her daughter had many physical issues and died two years ago. I know that Mother's Day is a bittersweet day for her. I also thought of a couple of friends I've known since the sixth grade whose mothers have died. And I thought of a friend who placed a child for adoption many years ago. I can imagine that there is some weirdness around Mother's Day for her. Finally, I thought of my friends who have struggled with infertility. So, while I am busy wondering if I am a horrible mother or not, I know that there are plenty of people out there just wishing they had a kid to yell at or a mother to complain to.

A belated Happy Mother's Day to moms of all kinds!

p.s. You can yell at my kid if you want.  She doesn't listen anyway.

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