A Motherless Mom's First Mother's Day

This is my first Mother's Day as a mom. I would venture to say that it is the most important one because it is the first one where I actually get it. 

Photo by the supremely talented Lauren Weissler

We've all {unfortunately} been that kid that thought it was just another Hallmark holiday and waited until the last minute to grab some flowers from the grocery store, tell Mom we love her and call it a day.

But this time, it's different. This time I understand how hard it is to be a mom--to go through pregnancy, to give birth, the many sleepless nights and mid afternoon meltdowns where I've felt so tired and helpless I just sit and cry. I now understand what it's like to love a little face so much that I think I might burst at the seams. I know now how real that pain is in your heart when your baby cries. 

I, along with every other mom I've ever known, wouldn't hesitate to say that all of those sacrifices I made that may have went unnoticed are still absolutely worth it--for that smile and those outstretched arms when I walk through the door or the warmth of that milk drunk baby body as he falls asleep in my arms. I get it now. It's one of the most difficult things I've ever done, but I wouldn't change it for the world.

The last few years since my mom passed, I try to avoid social media and all of the nice brunch spots on this day. I try to keep myself busy and pretend that it's just any other day. But this year it's different. It is bittersweet.

It is a painful reminder not only that my mom is not here for me to spend time with, but even more heart-wrenching, that my son will never know her. That she will never know him.

Yes, I get to spend the day with my new little family and pretend that my baby knows that this is my day and has made breakfast in bed (thanks, Daddy) and is genuinely thankful for all that I've done to create him and keep him alive. But the truth is, he doesn't know. He will never know. He might get an idea as he watches the mother of his child go through all of this, but until that time, he won't even have a clue.

And on that day when he becomes a parent and finally he gets it, I hope that I'll be around--not for my sake or any personal desire to be showered with gratitude, but to know that he will get a chance to tell me what I never got to tell my mom. That I had no idea the sacrifices she made. That I am so grateful for everything she did for me. And I'm sorry for all of those times I was ever a pain in the ass or took her for granted. That she was undoubtedly just as much of a pain in the ass as I was, but now I know that all of those wackjob hypercritical Asian dragon mother things she did ultimately came from love or because she didn't know any better. That now I get it. 

She knows. And I know that I will know. But nothing beats being able to say it to her face. So if you are one of those fortunate children that has this opportunity, today is your lucky day. You get to celebrate your mom! So do it well. If you get it, let her know. And if you are one of those bright-eyed, well-rested sons or daughters without kids, let her know that you don't get it, but you appreciate all that she has done for you as much as you are able.

We never know what is lined up in the stars for us or when someone that is very dear to us won't be around in flesh form anymore, so Hallmark holiday or not, treat every minute that you have to spend with your family and loved ones as a gift. Because even though I'm confident that the bond we have is stronger than this realm, it sure would be nice to give her a hug and have her tell me--in her typical super critical manner--everything that I'm doing wrong with raising her grandson.