The last time Mother’s Day was on the thirteenth (my lucky number!) was the year 2001–my first Mother’s Day as a Mommy. It was also the day we baptized my son Christian, wearing the same christening-gown I’d worn twenty-six years earlier. My parents have shared it with many family friends in the intervening years, and my mother had embroidered each child’s name and baptism-date into the lining–beginning with mine, and with Christian’s as the newest addition.
On the first Mother’s Day I spent with my daughter in the world, she was in Neonatal Intensive Care and I had a sore throat–which meant I couldn’t take my germs in to see her on Mother’s Day. Already stressed and stretched to my limits by two months of shuttling between my NICU-baby and my child-at-home, being shut out of the NICU on Mother’s Day felt like the proverbial back-breaking straw. Except you can’t let your back break when you’re Mom; you keep going anyway. I honestly believed that would be my roughest Mother’s Day ever.
Last year, however, Mother’s Day found us just six months out from our devastating alcoholic relapse, with NO visitation of our kids, and legal action filed by my Ex trying to terminate my parental rights. And although Christian told my Mom on Mother’s Day that he wanted to call me, my Ex wouldn’t put the kids on the phone, claiming they didn’t want to talk to me anymore. THAT, God willing, was the roughest Mother’s Day I ever hope to see.
In contrast to that (or even taken entirely on its own!) today was absolutely beautiful, in every sense. We had three of our seven kids with us (we have joint custody again of the younger two, and full custody of our teenager), I opened cards with hearts and owls on them, and Christian told me contentedly that “HOME is where my MOM is!” Today I am absolutely overwhelmed with gratitude and joy.
I’ve been gifted with a kick-ass mom of my own (more on that topic tomorrow)–and despite my screw-ups in life, I still get to be Mommy to mine. Truly, I’m blessed!