Mother's Day

Tomorrow is Mother's Day. I'm a mother. I can hardly believe it. I am a mother to two beautiful children. I have a four-year old, and I have a baby. I am a mother.

Meazi came out of school last Thursday smiling. She was holding something behind her back. It was a surprise she wanted to give me on Sunday for Mother's day. She hid it in the stroller. "Don't peek!" she said.

The other day I was walking, and another mom from her school said, "So what are your plans for Mother's day?" Out of habit, I hung my head and sheepishly mumbled , "Oh, I don't know." Every year, for the past ten years, Mother's day has been awful for me, the last few years harder than the first few years. Now that the day is here, I don't really believe it. I am not convinced that I am a mother. Really? How did that happen?

Yesterday my friend Amy sent me the two pictures in this post.

Don't M&m look different? They were just home. Right after this idyllic scene, Meazi threw a tantrum of epic proportion. I had to carry her screaming, over my shoulder, into the car. Her brother began howling as well. It was awful. We have come a long way, but still have miles to go. I am still hopeful that one day I will be the mother they deserve.

The thing that has struck me the most lately, in regard to Mother's day, is that there are women around me who have 'had my back' since we got home. I knew that certain people would be there for me for sure, but what has been a remarkable gift has been the realization that women, all around me, have been helping me, almost without my knowing it. There are several moms at Meazi's school who have done little, subtle, things that I now see as huge gifts.

These moms who have been doing small things around, and for me, are on my mind most this Mother's day. (These moms and a couple of moms in Canada but I'll get to that later). Moms around me have been helping me in ways big and small. Some moms I know well, some moms I just met in September, and some moms I don't know at all. Breast milk, door holding, medicine delivery, a side-by-side stroller pep talk, a "I'm at Costco, tell me what you need and I will bring it to you," a "Give yourself a year," a pizza brought over after the world's longest airplane ride, hand-me-downs, advice given in a way that didn't make it sound like advice.

Sometimes I feel like whenever I leave the house with my two children, a bucket of anxiety is dropped on me from my door frame as I step out. Will I lose them at the park? Will a car rear end us? Will Meazi have a tantrum? Will the car seat fail? Will Melese fall and cut his eyelid a fifth time? Do I have enough snacks? Will she listen? Will a car back into her from a driveway? All of these things run through my brain. A trip to the park is a minefield sometimes. That dog is going to bite him. That guy looks creepy. That kid just shunned her. She fell off the play structure. Sigh. Pass me a Valium.

I am constantly amazed by women with children of their own who can swoop in and also help my children when they need it. As I look around nervously making sure Melese doesn't walk in front of the swings, another mom has helped Meazi down the play fire pole. As I frantically search for a healthy snack in my cluttered diaper bag that is most times lacking diapers, a mother swoops in with apple sauce in a squeezer and whole milk in a juice box. Amazing moms everywhere. How are they doing it? How can they watch their kids and mine too? When will I ever relax? I am a helicopter mom, which I didn't want to be, and my kids get hurt anyway. It is inevitable I guess. Sigh. Pass me a Zoloft.

If I had more money, and if the kids hadn't just woken up. I would write a note to all of you moms who have helped me, in person and online. In the letter would be a generous gift card to a local coffee shop, preferably attached to an upscale nail salon. All of you would enjoy as many lattes as your body could handle, a luxurious pedicure, and a heaping dose of gratitude from me. Thank you for everything.

Now about those Canadian women.

Rana. Dear sweet Rana. This is the last one I promise. This is the last Mother's day that you will feel this way. (Rana received her referral for her son soon after we did, and is still waiting to pass court).

You too Carolyn. This is the last one. Please don't give up. Don't. Give. Up.

I'm off to peek at my surprise. Meazi says she has to give it to me soon because it needs water.

For the love of God, please don't let it be another pet. One more thing to worry about.
Sigh.Pass me a Paxil.

Happy Mother's Day.
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