Monday, May 19, 2014

Missing Mother's Day

My Mother's Day didn't start with breakfast in bed. There were no mornings off or massages or time to myself. No special dinner or sweet extended cuddle time with my little ones.

No, it looked much like it has for the last 8 years since I have become a mom.

Those first 7 Mother's Days were spent on a big stage with a bunch of college students I had just met. I passed the day with colleagues and new songs and crotchety sound systems and preparations to welcome a whole new herd of student leaders to camp that night. It went by with a glance online to see that all my mother friends were being celebrated and missing my own mom in the process. Most of those years I spent wondering when my mother's day would take on a new meaning. It was ok, though. That was my job and I loved it.

This year there was a noted difference.

I chose to go back to camp for one last hurrah and I went back with a little guy in my arms. This year I perused the beautiful posts and pictures of my fellow mothers, I saw their smiles, the sweet things their children did for them and I only felt jealous for a moment. Things have changed since last year. My waiting in this has ended. Some might wonder if I spent my day thinking about that newest little guy who has made me a mom all over again. I personally would've thought that's what I would've done.

That's not what happened, though.

What did fill my mind this Mother's Day was not what I was missing in my lack of celebrations, was not lost time with my children while at camp, was not the fact that I didn't get breakfast in bed, was not my own mom far away or my sweet 5-month-old baby boy.

What I thought about was a particular mother's empty arms. That somewhere, a young woman who still misses her baby, who chose life for him and entrusted him to us to raise, was having a very different Mother's day. No one was sending her cards. No one was making the day special for her. I wasn't even sure if it was a day I should mention to her- how would she feel this day? Having made one of the most sacrificially loving decisions a parent can make and knowing that that choice would mean that she is forever a mother, but in a way almost no one would understand. Would people in her life even know her story? Know how brave she is?

I know she won't read this. We are in touch but I know her circumstances prevent her from doing much blog reading. I faithfully send her updates with pictures and stats. She knows her little boy is now wearing 2T clothes, that he's eating solids, that he smiles most of the time he's awake, adores his big brother, tries his darnedest to follow the dog around the house and is, in general, the cuddliest little man on the planet.

What she doesn't know is what it's like to experience all those things about him firsthand. And I can't imagine how her empty arms felt on the day that celebrates moms everywhere.

So, to our own personal hero, the woman who gave our son life, I salute you. You changed our lives forever and there aren't really words enough that could ever express how we feel about you.

Rest assured that little man will grow up hearing stories of your courage and love and that you will always be a huge part of how we celebrate our Mother's Day.