Mothers' Day. An amazing, terrible, wonderful, heart-wrenching day. Pre- 2008, my mothers' days were all about making breakfast for my own mama and writing beautiful (and often cheesy) cards to let her know how wonderful she was and is. But as of Mothers' Day 2008-- that all changed for me. As so many of you already know, our little Zoe Belle came on February 9, 2008 and only stayed for a little while. By Mothers' Day, I thought I was doing great. On the Saturday before, I talked Tyson into buying me this beautiful yellow and black dress, in order to commemorate the day. I don't think he understood, but he went along with it. And on Sunday, I showed up to church, proud, in my new dress, with empty arms. I listened to the talks and tried to focus on my own mother and how much I loved her. But the sadness crept in like a mid-winter storm. By the end of the first talk, I was teetering on the edge. And then, some friends of Tyson turned and offered to let us hold their brand new little boy. As Tyson held him and smiled at him, I tried to talk myself out of my tears--
This is a little boy, not a girl. He is nothing like our little girl.... That's right. He is NOTHING like our little girl. No one is just like our little girl. There is no one on earth that is just like her. Because she is no longer here. No longer here. Not in my arms, not in Tyson's arms, and NOT within arm's reach. She is gone.
And then, before he could push that little boy into my arms, I stood up and ran out of sacrament. I bawled all the way to the bathroom, and sank into one of the stalls. I stayed there until my tears dried up, and then when I finally came out, I listened to an older woman tell me all about her sister who had lost a baby and how she had seen a vision of what her little baby looked like now, with her beautiful hair flowing and a brilliant smile on her face and how she just KNEW that her little girl was trying to tell her that she was fine. I felt so empty. I had had no such vision. Empty and thoroughly melted, I walked out of that bathroom, and right out of the church. I stood outside the car until Tyson figured it out and came outside. We went home, and he spent the rest of the day trying to make me smile.
Flash forward to Mothers' Day 2014-- I awoke to the sound of the printer. But when I looked around the room was still dark and no one was there. I sleepily got up and went about my normal morning routine. When I opened the bedroom door 10 minutes later, two pairs of little feet ran to greet me. Quinn and Mac, both with large bags, "gifts," as Mac kept repeating, and huge smiles. They unloaded their bags on me and then followed me out to the living room. I unloaded untold treasures from those bags-- chocolate-covered pretzels, milky ways, beautiful crayon portraits of myself, and immeasurable "love notes" from Quinn- with only one discernible word, "mom." My tears were teetering on the edge as I unpacked those bags and took in those beautiful faces, going crazy with excitement. And then Tyson explained the printer-- it was his note to me and also my wake-up call. He went in and retrieved it, and as I read through his description of shopping for Mothers' Day with the children, my happiness was overflowing. These kids, these crazy, loud, annoying, BEAUTIFUL kids are mine. And though there are days that I cannot even fathom why, they love me SO SO SO much. Happiness. Immeasurable, all-consuming happiness.
You see, I have experienced both sides to this whole Mothers' Day fiasco-- the pain and the pleasure, the sadness and the happiness. And I get it. To all of you women out there, I get it. Mothers' Day is something of a symbol for motherhood. Sometimes it is terrible and frightening and just plain heart-breaking. And then there are moments or days where it is the epitome of wonderfulness-- death by happiness. It is everything all in one. And we wonder why it changes us so much...