Sink or Swim

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day

Mother's Day. My first Mother's Day as a mother. I didn't think it would happen when I was creaky in the knees and starting to grey at 41, but it was a memorable day nonetheless. E blessed us with a little extra sleep this morning, so I actually read two sections of the paper. And R made breakfast, which is always a treat. At church, E flirted, squinty-smiled, and shook fingers (a new fascination) with the row behind us. The opening song involved kids singing and doing the hand motions for the song L-O-V-E. Suddenly I was crying. Being a mother sinks in a different times and to different levels for me, and today it obviously settled in pretty deep. I generally spend Mother's Day with my own mom, most recently in conjunction with my sister as a girl's weekend. And at church, I would look around at the other moms who would smile in response to the nice sermon praising their virtues, and I would think "Next year. Next year, I will be a mother." Now it's finally true -- I am a mother. An obvious thing, I know, but some days it just seems so matter-of-fact, while other days it really hits me in a "wow" kind of way. I look back to when R and I were dating, and I could not fathom that 8 years later, we would be newly home from China with our daughter. Sometimes, it actually seems quite unreal and even absurd. But generally it all fits into place in such a normal, everyday way. I thought a lot about mothers today, of course, but thinking about E's birth mother throws me into such disarray. For me, there is no right way to feel about her, because I will probably never know her story. Grateful seems misguided. Grateful that a child was abandoned? That would seem the ultimate insult. And it's hard not to resent a government or family that pushes women into horrible choices. But do I even know she was pushed? I try so hard not to project what I think I would feel or do, but I always think about her with the deepest sorrow. I want her to know that E is beautiful and strong -- full of mischief, personality and endless affection. I want her to be reassured that E is healthy, happy and will receive education and opportunity that she might not have had in her home country. It all comes down to that word -- might. Her birth mother certainly must wonder what might have happened to her daughter. And I will always wonder what her life might have been like if she'd been raised in China by her birth mother or another family. Always wondering about what might have been...
But today was about what is real right now, not about what might have been. We played, and giggled and walked endlessly in the apparently not-so-frightening grass. E ate a real child's portion of lasagna and drank a decent amount of milk at a neighborhood restaurant (for us and our eating issues, this was huge). And we enjoyed a wonderful day as a family. Now I'm crying again, but I'm smiling too. All I can say is thank you to E for making me a mom.


Blogger Beckyb said...

We are truly blessed - I just love having a day to ponder on it more than usual!!!

5/13/2007 09:55:00 PM  
Blogger Mama said...

You know, I think I it was Dawn over at This Woman's Work, that said something to the effect that, it's easy to think that I'm there for {insert babe's name}, but in fact, she is there for me.

Yes . . . I spent my 1st M'-Day away from Gabby - were were in the Citie's loading, (we sold the house), and she was here with her Grandparents and aunts. It was the most horrible seperation of our time together. I was completely undone without her, in ways that I didn't feel the 2 other times we left her for a weekend (WHEN WILL THIS MOVE END?).

Oh, how loved they are.

Happy Mother's Day to You!


5/14/2007 09:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a lovely post!


5/14/2007 11:16:00 PM  
Blogger DiJo said...

Belated Happy Mother's Day! The picture here of "E" is absolutely precious. I love the way you get to the soul of your thoughts through your writings here. So honest and real!! My guess is we will always have questions about our thankfulness that these daughters were abandoned so they could be ours. For their mother's we will never understand their choices. I choose to believe that they loved our girls so much they gave them up for what they believe to be a better life. We now have this huge gift that comes with huge responsibility. I call it a blessing! I pray that "E" brings you years of Mother's Days filled with happy tears.
Blessings from GZ,

5/14/2007 11:33:00 PM  

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