I don’t mind being alone today. I don’t mind working today. I don’t mind having a grilled cheese sandwich and some hastily purchased store bakery brownies. None of it bothers me. Honestly.
Mother’s Day has never been that big of a deal for me. The ex would fight with the kids about what to get me, something they’d run out and buy at the last-minute. Almost like an afterthought. He’d pick me up a coffee and grab something for dinner to bring home. One year he left me to tend several large trash fires while they ran in late Saturday afternoon because he’d forgotten the next day was Mother’s Day. It wasn’t ever about the kids showing me gratitude. It wasn’t ever about making me happy or honoring me as the mother of his children. It was about me expressing gratitude to him for whatever little he did and allowed the kids to participate in.
I’m used to Mother’s Day being a bit lackluster.
But, this year I am sad. I’m sad because my little boy is sad. He cried in church and has spent most of the day weepy and bending over backwards to be helpful. He finally just confessed to me that he is sad and a bit angry. He just wishes that he could have bought me something. He even has his own money to spend. He just has no one to help him do anything for his mama. And, he said he can’t wait to have a wife so he can do things for her for Mother’s Day. Someday. When he can drive. Someday. When he isn’t a little boy and isn’t dependent upon other people. Who aren’t there.
He has been with me as others have bubbled over about where they’re eating today. He has been with me as people have said they’re sorry today is just another work day for me. And, he has taken it all to heart and felt the sting, as though he is responsible.
His one glimmer of hope today came at church. They had purchased long stem roses for every mother in the congregation. The children were to hand them out before the service ended. He brightened. He would be able to give his mama something, too! But, then, the teacher told him no. He was to pick a woman sitting somewhere and hand it to her. He sobbed as he realized he really was to be empty-handed today.
I know people feel bad for me on Mother’s Day. On Valentine’s Day. But, I think it’s worse for the kids. Their childhood isn’t marked by family celebrations and happy days honoring each other. It’s watching every other family do those things while they sit on the sidelines or wander along behind mom, dragging cleaning supplies into an empty business.