Yesterday was Mothers Day. I had been emotionally preparing and boning up for it for weeks. Mothers Day is always about our mothers. Maybe someday, far in the future, I will see it as a day for me, as your mother, but for now it is still about mine.
Last Mothers Day I traveled to Seattle with an exciting secret. I arrived at my mom's room a few days before the Sunday, trying to decide if I should wait with my news, to really punch up the Mothers Day festivities. Of course, I could not contain it for a minute more than necessary. I practically ran down the hallway, shedding luggage as soon as I opened her door, calling your Daddy to put him on speaker phone. I gave my mom a huge hug and kiss, greeted my dad and Uncle Rossy and then practically shouted "I'm pregnant!" My mom immediately burst into tears. "Really? Really!" she was shaking. And the next morning, when I woke up on the floor next to her bed, she asked again. "I wasn't just dreaming, was I? You really are pregnant?" I was. You were coming, we just had to be patient.
My mom's illness beat her despite her patience and instead of her hugs and kisses, you got her name.
Yesterday was bittersweet, as is every day with you here that I can't share with her. So, I played our game again. "If my mom was alive, I would tell her how ridiculously your daddy spoiled me today. It was like my birthday, with cake, long walks, books, laughter. I would tell her how you refused to sleep in your stroller on our walk to Manhattan, insisting instead on being worn. How you flirted with an adorable gay couple on the train, how you flirted with the hipster staff at the vegan bakery, how you flirted with yourself in the mirror. How Daddy and I got sunburned and how one of my proudest achievements in parenting thus far is you not getting sunburned when we did. But she's not alive, so I can add how much I miss her, how much I miss the joy she would have gotten from knowing you."
Sweet Pea, you are a phenomenal listener. You look at us as we speak and punctuate our conversations with insights of your own, though we can't quite decipher their meaning just yet. Thank you for listening to me, for allowing me to play that game, for letting me think out loud. For smiling at me when I talk to you, when I look at you, when you wake up and see my face. For wanting to be worn, for letting me hold you close. For lending your sweetness to this Mothers Day so that it was not completely bitter.