When trying to decide what to post today, I thought, “Mother’s Day. Easy!” Initially, I considered posting a picture of me with my mom and another of me with my mother-in-law.
But, my mother died twenty years ago this summer and I have no digital photos of us together. Come to think of it, I can’t recall many photos of the two of us as adults. There are plenty from my childhood, but what happened? Was I always behind the camera? Is my memory faulty? This makes me sad. I kind-of sort-of want to search the cases of photos I have in the basement hoping to prove myself wrong…but what if I prove myself right? I don’t think I want to go there.
I flipped through all of my digital photos and I have plenty of shots of my mother-in-law, but I was the one taking most of the pictures. Her daughter also takes lots of pictures so I’m sure she has plenty of me with her mom and we can swap. I could have made that work, but I decided to go in a different direction.
My easy post turned out not to be so easy. Isn’t that always the case? I decided, if it’s going to be hard anyway, I might as well make it really tough.
Mother’s Day is always a difficult day for me. I’m not a mom. I’m a stepmom. But I’m not a mom, and as our ex-wife has told me many times, it’s not the same thing. My husband’s boys were all but grown when we got married—15, 17 and 20—but I love them like they were my own. Or, I think I do. How would I know since I have nothing to compare it to.
When Hubby and I got married, I told the ex and I told the boys, I didn’t plan to try to mother them. They had a mom. I only wanted to be another trusted adult in their lives. The boys never lived with us, so it didn’t really come up. I’m pretty sure they couldn’t hear my intentions then, but over time (ten years), I think (hope) I’ve proven myself.
Now one of the boys has a son of his own, making us grandparents. Had I come into the family after the birth of this grandchild, I’d think of myself as a step-grandparent. But, I am firmly entrenched in the family and consider myself 100% a grandmother. Right or wrong. What do you think?
And though, I’m not a mom, I’ve got godchildren scattered all over the country—five officially, two more who think they are and I’m not telling them differently. I have a niece from my first marriage and a niece and nephew from this one. In addition, for many years I worked with college women in varying roles of advising chapters of my collegiate sorority. I truly cared for these young women, but someone else had birthed and raised them. So, while I’ve been around a lot of young folks, and maybe even influenced even a few, I’m not a mom.
Right smack in the middle of my little pity party, my doorbell rang. It was the mailman with a package. I didn’t remember ordering anything. I opened the box and found a gift…a mother’s day gift. Out of the blue. Not from one of the step-kids. Not from a relative or godchild (though they sometimes send cards). Not from one of the sorority women. It was from someone else. Totally unexpected. The gift was inscribed, leaving no doubt it was for Mother’s Day. It oozed with love. I didn’t need a present, (okay, maybe I did to snap me out of this funk) but to be remembered on Mother’s Day–well, I’m still bawling.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of you mothers out there. And to those of you who aren’t…well, a special Happy Mother’s Day to you, too. I’m sure someone, somewhere has special feelings for you whether or not they remember to tell you.