This year was very different from last year. There was a “Happy Mother’s Day” card from a little girl. The second little girl, but the first card. We shared the day as a family, and I felt loved and appreciated.
I still haven’t quite gotten the hang of Mother’s Day. And it’s partly because I really don’t like it much. I wonder how I’ll feel about it years down the road. Will I still get that ache because I know who is missing, and how she was the first to make me a mother? Will I still feel those tears behind my cheesy picture smile? The answer, probably.
We went to some yard sales (don’t judge me…they’re pretty great. I scored an almost new $30 salad spinner for 50 cents! But I digress…….) because it’s something that we enjoy doing as a family. Addalee loves to get out of the house and meet and greet. She’s a very social baby. Anyway, we found a sale with some pretty awesome baby girl stuff. There were cute (probably never worn) outfits, toys, shoes, games, etc. as far as the eye could see.
“Oh, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve got tons of little girl stuff!” the sale-er said to me.
Smile and nod and juggle Addie while she wants to get into everything.
Then she said, “How old is she?”
“We have a 19 month old.”
My heart sank. 19 months. That’s dangerously close to the 18 months that Caroline would be.
Then out walks this cute little (or not so little) girl, with blond hair…I honestly lost my breath for a second. See, I have really tried NOT to keep up with what babies Caroline’s age would be doing. I don’t want to know what their stages are. I don’t want to know if they’re talking, or running, or picking up baseball bats like this little girl. Caroline is still a tiny newborn baby in my mind, because that’s all we were able to have with her. So, as messed up as it is, all 18 month old babies should still be babies. I know that this is not reality, so most of the time, I just block them out. It’s not perfect, but it’s my system, and it’s worked fairly well.
That was a little rough, but shortly after, we went to another sale. The family had a van with a sticker that was in loving memory of their daughter who only lived 8 days. When I saw the sticker, immediately my heart broke for the family. Then I looked a little closer, their baby girl was born a few days before Addalee and died a few days later. My baby was their dreaded see-that-baby-and-what-it’s-doing baby. Ugh. We ended up talking to that family for a little while. Both sets of parents, with tear-filled eyes, stood sharing about our little girls, and our lives, and our blessings, (they have 2 living sons) on a dreary Saturday before Mother’s Day.
The weather here on Mother’s Day was yucky…all rainy and sad. There were smiles and love in the house, some tears yes, but so many more smiles than last year. And I’ll take what I can get!
I hope that each and every one of you had a gentle Mother’s Day. Know that I was thinking of you all!