I can so clearly recall my first mothers day. I was working at Northern Delights and we served our usual Sunday menu, closing at 2. I was racing to finish so that I could join my mom, my grandmothers and Phil’s grandma, along with all the men, for brunch in traverse city. I felt very proud to be a member of the tribe of mothers. I had already fallen in love with motherhood, Isaac was nearly 9 months old, and I was very happy. There is a photo from that day and I am radiant in it– glowing with mama love and surrounded by the women who showed me how to be one.
Isaac was always a big fan of mothers day– he always made it special, making me things, picking me bouquets, writing me thoughtful and heart centered musings of his love and appreciaton for me. Aunt Jenn always checked in to see if he needed any help making sure to celebrate me.
When I became a single mom, I started inviting all my single mama friends over for a little love fest. Most of us worked in food service and spent a portion of the day making sure other mom’s felt celebrated, but then we would come together for some nosh, let our kiddos run around, and cheers ourselves and each other with Mamosas– my version of champagne and juice (mostly champagne!)– until it was time to resume our busy lives as single parents. I loved this tradition, and all the meaning and love and solidarity that it held for me.
After I got married, I needed to still be with those girls and children on mothers day– and so, for a couple years, I still invited them over. No longer working in hospitality, mothers day eventually turned into dividing time between my mom and Joshua’s– and then, eventually, brunching with them together. One year I thought all i wanted was a day to myself, it only lasted a couple hours before I just needed Isaac to be with me on a day that really was, for me, about him and i. Every year since, he would say “dont you want a day off from mamahood on mothersday?” To which I rolled my eyes, and said “maybe if i didnt love being your mama so much I would need a break, but youre the only one I wanna be with on mothers day”. Last year, my last mothers day with him, our dog had been in a fight the night before and I was super emotional at mothers day brunch– i will never forget Isaac telling me I “could be sad any other day of the year but today, today you should just be proud and happy! Cuz look at me! Im an awesome kid!” It brought me straight out of my funk in a second. He was right!
We had all the big holidays so soon after Isaac’s death, I think I was still in shock. I am to some degree still in shock. But I find myself cringeing, buffering myself against the pain of this approaching milestone– without Isaac. I have already been shown a whole lot of mama love, which is so sweet and kind. But theres an ache– a technicality– about the day that I had never considered before– so many must be sad on mothers day– because so many have lost a child or their own mother–Ive always celebrated this sweet little day because I had someone who made me and someone who made me a mama–
So, I ask each of you mamas out there to pour yourselves a well deserved Mamosa on Sunday– to really celebrate yourself and the work and the love you give every day of the year– revel in it. And then, please, lift your glass high and salute all the mamas and the children who are sad this weekend. Maybe your little lovebeam will elevate just a little bit of that sadness.
Happy Mother’s Day.