While I didn’t yet know I was pregnant last mother’s day, our daughter’s tiny cells were surely spinning inside my womb. So much has happened in the 12 months between then and now.
So much has not happened.
This Mother’s Day I’ll wake up the mother of three. My first child will greet me with a handwritten, homemade card–maybe flowers–surely lots of adoring hugs and kisses. He’ll likely hand me a present, and when I fuss about how nice it was for him to get me something, he’ll look back at his father with a knowing look, before smiling his big, proud smile. I’ll scoop him up and soak in that fantastic feeling of utter acceptance and unconditional love.
I’ll spend time with my other two children only inside the limits of my own imagination. In Sunday’s pre-dawn hours I’ll think of the moments we never shared, like I have so many times before, until daylight crawls its way through our blinds, across our bed sheets, forcing me back to reality. I’ll conjure the same fantasies.
Like the one where our daughter is born, except this time, miraculously, we hear her cries. I’m flat on my back in an overly-lit hospital room, squeezing my husband’s hand as relief and joy sweep across our faces and prickle down our spines.
Or the one where I’m spooning sloppy rice cereal or runny green beans into our son’s small, perched mouth. I’m laughing at the way his tongue searches as I mop his chin with the spoon. He bangs his unfurled fists in excitement.
And in the wee hours of Mother’s Day I vow to also spend some time in grateful reflection about the people in my life who’ve gone out of their way to mother me–all the people who rose up out of their own lives and their own problems to sit and shed tears with me. It was their encouragement, their texts, their homemade soups, their daily phone calls, their thoughtful gifts, and most importantly their reverence for my lost babies, that resurrected me. Thankfulness is my yang, my bright side. Gratitude, I’ve learned, is like praying.