Rolling in reunion angst approaching MOTHERS day. Hmph.
Mother’s Day is the Sunday following my relinquishment day. That was a good enough reason to ignore MD for me. When my husband brought me a MD gift a few months after our son was born, I was appalled. A pretty little plate that I accidentally broke within the month. He glued it back together. I couldn’t begin to explain my feelings. I was learning how to be a mother, to transform myself from undeserving to worthwhile in the mother dept. After relinquishing I had a LOT to make up for and too too too many doubts to handle.
I wanted MD to go away. I hated being honored on the day that reminded me of loss.
The generations of daughters disappointing mothers in my family held influence too. I was angry at my mother for years, as though she should have made everything in my life ok for me. As though she shouldn’t have had her own burdens to work through. I had been raised to meet some high standards and was more than able to return the expectations for an extended adolescence. As I made inroads in accepting myself I began to accept Mom and Dad too.
I still minimized MD. I felt guilty for not honoring my own mother much on that day. My SIL was motherhood personified. She was a La Leche League leader and reveled in her mother self. I enjoyed her ebullience, began to see a bright side to it.
Reunion brought a new kink. All the “I’m not good enough to be a mother” crap took it up a notch. Our first MD was still in the phase of me being nothing more than a source for medical/genealogical/sociological info. My daughter had a son. But if I was not her mother, I must not be his grandmother.
It’s funny looking back. She was my daughter. She wanted me to be sure people knew I had a daughter out there somewhere. Somewhere… I was not her mother because I had given up that right. But she was my daughter. She deserved that.
“Ok”. Uh, happy mother’s day to my daughter, a young mother. Yeah, no, I botched that one.
I kept up my avoidance of MD sporadically & guiltily, as though there was something wrong with me for not embracing the holiday. Ignoring it, I hadn’t considered what it was like for my first born to have a day for honoring mothers. Her amom was the object of her elementary school art projects, the receiver of her affections. I was some shadowy, ghostlike figure. Her first mother was less than able to care for her – was less than worthy of notice. Yet some vague concern was likely felt by her afamily. Somewhere there was some other mother that had provided this wonder of a child, and then conveniently “disappeared”.
DD questioned me on my MD practices. She questioned her own practices. The personal styles of her first family differed so from the style of her afamily, while reflecting her own nature. Her discomfort with me and even more with my mother distorted my thoughts about us.
I remember her mocking my mother’s home made macaroni and cheese
when DD’s son was expecting his request to be met with a box of Kraft. I got the difference, that a toddler accustomed to packaged food would be nonplussed by a crusty casserole dish. But DD’s ridicule stung me. I treasured my mother’s efforts. Grating the cheese, making the sauce, cooking the noodles, assembling, topping and baking it with loving care. The best offering of a woman that had never opened a box of Kraft and hadn’t a clue of her “mistake”. eta I find that I misunderstood DD’s criticism . DD’s son was not accustomed to boxed or prepackaged foods. He was accustomed to finer cuisine. The offense was that he was served left over mac and cheese.
The love/hate thing came across in the details. (Working in the garden yesterday, a new friend told me she tries to stay out of politics because she always ends up seeing both sides of things. We both enjoy working in the beauty).
Two weeks before Mothers Day, 15 years ago, my mom died. DD and I were at a low point, not communicating much. My dad was the one to tell her of her grandmother’s passing.
I love my mother. She lives on through every kind thing I do. Mothers Day took a new twist after I lost my mom. It is still a twisted holiday of rubbing the raw pain of loss for me and my daughter, with the pain of losing my mother, with the joy of unabashed loving and appreciating the awesome variety of mothering and honoring all around us.