Saturday, May 13, 2006
The Omega family is doing "Mother's Day" next weekend. OmegaDad just called from the Indianapolis airport, saying he'd made it there. OmegaDotter is snuggled up in bed with a new stuffed bunny. I'm sitting here trying to sort out my feelings about the holiday. Even in the depths of infertility angst, it was mostly just an itchy scratch to me, not the major depressing blot on the calendar that it is to many infertile women. Perhaps it's because, growing up, I was in a family that celebrated three holidays: Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving. The rest were fun (Fourth of July, in particular), but not a big deal. I frankly can't remember if I ever did anything for my mom for Mother's Day before I left home. These days, we do the obligatory flowers for all the family moms. I do the obligatory lunch/brunch with OmegaGranny and Great Grandma. In the midst of the IF blues, I wanted not to have just one day set aside. I wanted the whole shebang, the day-in, day-out reality of the thing. Oh, yes, it was sweet that first Mother's Day, when OmegaDad woke me up with a kiss on my nose and whispered, "Happy Mother's Day, MOM!" It was like the final little "i" was dotted, the last "t" was crossed, akin to the first time I said, "My husband" in public when talking about OmegaDad after we got married. A little jolt to the system that said, "Hunh! It's really real, after all!" But, y'see, it's the reality of the thing that is important--just like the marriage itself is much more important than the day of the wedding. When, on the day of my brother's graduation, I spent most of the drive from Chicago to DeKalb with my head in my mom's lap sobbing over the tragic end to my (then) One And Only True Love Affair--that was "mother's day". When OmegaGranny spent the night at my apartment drunk as a skunk after imbibing lots of cute little demi-tasse cups of creme de menthe at Dodie W's home, and told me, "You're a good kid! Did I ever tell you that? You're a damned good kid!" and then conked out on my sofa--that was "mother's day". When I spent three days and nights in the hospital, sleeping on the fold-out chair next to OmegaDotter's crib with her snuggled in my arms, IV lines draped around us, one month after we arrived back from China--each day was "mother's day". When OmegaGranny took me to see the Nutcracker, or to the symphony, or to the opera, complete with a special dinner out, just the two of us--each of those was "mother's day". When I spend a hot summer's day with OmegaDotter at the local pool, then go out for icecream at Baskin Robbins afterwards, and we arrive home hot and tired and sundrenched--that's "mother's day". The official day--Mother's Day--is just another day in a complex life tapestry. I love my mother. She knows that. My daughter loves me. I know that. Happy mothers' days. Each and every one of them. Because all of them are precious, whether they're crowned with a Hallmark card or not.