Our first Mother’s Day, I don’t remember. The world was so new to me. From what I see in the pictures that fill our home, I was always in your arms. In most of them, you look so happy. In others, like you wanted to be the perfect mom, but weren’t sure if you ever could be.
By our second Mother’s Day, you were still finding your sea-legs as a divorced working mom with no hands on deck. Unlike the one before, Ma was not with us for much of the year. We were on our own. My babysitter was our back bone. You were able to go to work and know that I was being fed, changed, and cared for. Every morning, I could see the unease in your eyes. You knew that I was in good hands, but you also knew that none were better than yours. I wanted to tell you not to worry, that I understood that you have to work to take care of us, and that even when I cried, I would be okay. But I did not yet have the words. So instead, I showered you with wet sloppy kisses and tight hugs before you went on your way.
I kept you super busy that year. Crawling was behind me thanks to Ma teaching me how to walk. You were my shadow as I zipped around on wobbly legs exploring our home and delighting in the many cool things that I could now pick up and touch. Some things you locked me out of or placed way out of my reach. I didn’t like that much, but know that you did it for my own good since in my haste, I hurt myself sometimes.
And then there was more teething for us to get through. Between the drooling, swollen gums, explosive poops, low grade fevers, and my cranky pants, I don’t know who was over it first–you or I. But as with everything else, we got through it together. Ice pops, tears, and all.
That year was far from all bad though. I graduated from the mushy stuff, and boy did you turn me on to all sorts of tasty treats. Fruit snacks, Cheeze-Its, pizza, chicken, french fries, and chips are still my favorites. But the fun didn’t stop there. On steadier legs, I was able to get around a whole lot more and even run. There were the trips to different parks. Some had slides and jungle gyms, others had beautiful water and plush green trees as far as my eyes could see. We hung out at restaurants and festivals with your sister-friends who are like my aunties. And the best part of the year was when we got on that thing that looked like a huge bird and flew through the clouds to see Ma. I had so much fun in the sun running around her backyard, splashing around in the pool, and trying more yummy new foods at different restaurants. A city baby like me appreciates a touch of country living from time to time.
But it was the end of last year that you made extra special. I could not believe my eyes when I woke up and saw all of those perfectly wrapped boxes in colorful paper set up under strings of glowing white lights. You sat and helped me rip the paper off of every box as Ma took pictures of us. I was so happy and excited that I did not know where to look or what to play with first. I never knew that there was one special day of the year on which I could have so many toys right at my finger tips. That was the best day ever. And you made it happen for me.
So here we are. Our third Mother’s Day. I know that things are still far from easy, but we are making strides. I’m in nursery school now, which makes me happy. You’re still writing, which makes you happy. We make each other laugh and snuggle when we need comfort. And, better than anything else is that when you say that you love me, I can now tell you that I love you too.
So on this day, here’s a high-five because, for sure, you are doing this mommy thing.
Happy Mother’s Day!