This is not the first year for me where Mother's Day hurts. I wonder if any greeting card company makes a Mother's Day sympathy card? They should. It would sell. Even if women just bought the cards for themselves. I'm by far not the only aspiring mother with miscarriages or regretted abortions under her belt, waiting just a few more precious late-in-her-reproductive-years cycles, until she's moved in with her partner and made that new relationship all the more solid, and until dental surgery, two rounds of it, are under her belt, before throwing out the condoms for good.
And what about all the people who don't have mothers? J~ didn't have a mother. His died a year after he was born. Until his grieving father was ready to fully take on the role of parent, the job of raising him was shared with a network of nearby aunts and uncles. He didn't have a home or room of his own for the first nine or so years of his life; he slept on a cot in a hallway of an aunt's house. Mother's Day must have felt like shit.
Speaking of mothers, B~'s mother, J~'s ex, wants J~ and I to come to her wedding. "Let's get divorced first," J~ told her, "then we can talk about that." When he hung up the phone and told me what she had said, I burst out laughing. "It's not the first time she's brought it up," he admitted. I laughed again, and hard. It wasn't evil laughter; I wasn't making fun of her. It just hit me like that. You know when you cry really hard and then you start laughing, and then you start crying again? For a moment, whatever you've been sad about seems ludicrous. But then it seems sadder than ever. That's what it felt like, just a strange twist of emotion.
Lately, my ex seems to want to forget that I exist. He's dropped out of contact with me. It feels shameful to miss him, to experience the vacuum of his presence in my daily life as such and aching void, especially since there was such an aching void when we were together. But I can't deny it, I've been grieving a lot lately. Meanwhile, here is J~, my doppelganger, with an ex-spouse who goes to the opposite extreme, proposing that we all go for hikes together, wanting us to come to her wedding, fantasizing that we will all become best friends, buy a duplex together. Stranger things have happened, I suppose.
And what about this role I'm taking on in B~'s life? Not quite mother, not quite stepmother either. But I'm thinking about him like a parent, wanting the best for him, worrying that if something were to happen to J~, our invisible and still fragile ties would be difficult to maintain.
I feel like I'm looking at Mother's Day not under just a single new light, but under many new lights, under disco lights maybe.
Not to mention the fact that I have a mother, and a pretty good one. Though I could find fault with her until the cows come home, what's the point? I am alive, first of all, thanks to her, and I like who I am. She deserves more credit than I could possibly concentrate long enough to give. She will be receiving a card from me this year, and I look forward to making it like I've never looked forward to making a Mother's Day card before.
It is a lucky thing to have a reason to celebrate Mother's Day at all. Happy Mother's Day, everybody!