Mother’s Day is hard for some people. I’m one of them. I don’t need sympathy, just acknowledgment that Mother’s Day can be quite a conundrum for many people—not just for adoptees like me. Some people have lost their perfectly perfect (or perfectly imperfect) mothers—that’s hard, too. To all of you boys and girls and women and men who have a difficult time knowing what or how to celebrate on Mother’s Day—I SEND YOU ALL A VIRTUAL HUG!
I would love to be able to celebrate my adoptive mother on Mother’s Day. But I find it hard to scratch around in the old noodle for memories of good times or happy mother-daughter moments. She wasn’t abusive or mean. She was, however, an alcoholic who basically “checked out” during the formative years of my life. Don’t feel sorry for me. I became a fiercely independent young woman, determined to find my own way using friends’ mothers as role models, vowing to be the opposite kind person that my mother was. Whatever that meant. I do miss her sometimes . . . I find myself thinking of her and wishing that we could have had a better relationship. She passed away in 2003. I think about this on Mother’s Day.
I would also love to be able to celebrate my biological mother on Mother’s Day. But I don’t know her. Don’t get me wrong–I know her identity. I know where she lives and I know some of her family (my family!). I also know and understand who she was in 1963 when she gave birth to me and relinquished me for adoption. I’m not angry or hurt that she gave me up for adoption. It was her only choice. It was the right choice. What I don’t understand (and what hurts a little) is how after over fifty years, she can’t reconcile with reality and get to know another adult human being. A human being who happens to be so closely related to her. At this point, however, I think maybe she may not be the kind of person I’d want to get to know, anyway. I think about this on Mother’s Day.
There are highlights—it’s not all dark and stormy. I do love it when my kids honor and celebrate me. One year, my little son Zach (he’s now 26) made me breakfast in bed. He made me an omelet—and called it a “momelette.” I cried happy tears. And I gobbled up the momelette, even though it really wasn’t that good (I think he used some expired feta cheese—oops!). And when my youngest, Garrett, was just a toddler, Guy took both Zach and Garrett to breakfast early one Mother’s Day, so that I could sleep in. That was total heaven. We all celebrated together in the afternoon with a picnic and a lot of silliness.
But still, it’s a hollow feeling that I’m left with when everyone else is celebrating Mother’s Day. It does fill up, though, when my boys celebrate me. Whatever you may be thinking about on Mother’s Day, I hope you get to celebrate some of the good stuff.
I’m looking forward to Father’s Day, by the way. I hit the jackpot with both my adoptive Dad and my biological Father. It’s a totally different kind of feeling. Can’t wait to share it with you!
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!