I am writing a few days ahead of actual Mother’s Day for several reasons. Mother’s Day this year also falls on my mom’s birthday. She passed away 30 years ago now but the day is still difficult. But then, so was she. Having these two days fall so close together and occasionally on the same day was rough for a young child. She insisted that they be celebrated separately since it was all she’d get in the year. A tough undertaking for an 8-year old with $2.37 to spend. I believe I have retaliated on every boyfriend since then as my birthday falls a week after Christmas.
Holidays are rough on RAD families. Anything that disrupts the routine, forces bonding, and makes the child spend time in the relationships he or she doesn’t want to have is a recipe for disaster. Add anxiety, lack of impulse control, everyone trying too hard…you get the idea.
If the holiday has a focus on the child you can maybe get away with it with little angst. So Christmas, Easter, Independence Day, Thanksgiving can usually be managed if there’s no travelling involved (I’ll focus on these holidays and car trips in the future). But Mother’s Day has no purpose on RADish radar.
When August was little and I was still married, Mother’s Day was handled for him. Whether or not he knew it he got me a lovely card and present and I could probably score a hug and a kiss and breakfast in bed even though he had nothing to do with it. I know from taking him to buy Father’s Day cards as he got older that root canal would have been preferred to shopping for something that wasn’t for him. And forget the present.
But here’s two pictures of one of my favorite Mother’s Days. I was divorced and the boys were on their own. I was upstairs in bed because I knew they were downstairs making me breakfast. There was no yelling or screaming so the boys were getting along (for once!) Quite a long time passed and then they came upstairs with this:
And all I was told was, “Something happened.” I was afraid to go downstairs. But there were three yogurts and the three of us laid in bed and ate yogurt together and had a great breakfast. It was wonderful.
Of course I did have to go downstairs eventually and I found this:
But the fact that they tried this hard made my heart melt even more.
August will never understand how much Mother’s Day means to me. That for seven years I didn’t think I’d ever be a mother. That getting the call with his court date the week before Mother’s Day in 2001 (and finding out I was pregnant two days later) was the most amazing 48 hours of my life. I wish he could feel how full my heart is when I think about being his mom. And how much it breaks that he can’t. If he could I know his life would be so much different.
Mother’s Day is a time for celebrating our mothers, or those who have served that role. Remembering the mothers we’ve lost and acknowledging what a vital role mothers play in the development of every human. Understanding Reactive Attachment Disorder brings the role of mother to a whole new level of importance now for me. I have been robbed of much of that bond with my child but nevertheless I would not be a mother without him and for that I am truly blessed.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers and mother souls out there. Thank you for caring.