My relationship with Mother's Day is complicated, this has been established. This year upheld that status. And this will be the only time you will hear me complain.
On this day, I always get a pass. Sleep in and I choose how I want the day to roll out, separate from family celebrations. Sit on the couch all day? sure. Take a road trip? yep.
It's also a day I stay off of social media. It's exhausting seeing all the posts about something I didn't experience and am specifically excluded from. Also, sometimes well meaning people will say I'm a Dog Mom, which I find insulting and condescending. I know, they mean well but No.
So, I just avoid social media most of the day. This year, when I did peek, two cousins tagged all the moms in the family to wish them Happy Mother's Day. So that was...just, ugh. Don't do that. Kevin has posted on the facebook "Happy You're Not A Mom Day" to me before and it makes me laugh, even if it does make it weird for everyone else.
We saw my mom for the first time in almost 18 months. We timed it to arrive before the rest of the family. Some of it was to avoid potential drama and some of it was to avoid the fact that four of the six adults choose to remain unvaccinated. I have enjoyed not seeing my family during this whole pandemic adventure. I'm just saying.
I was quiet heading out and about halfway there, Kevin offered "How about a Happy Meal?" When I said yes, he laughed "I knew that would help." That's a keeper, right there. In my meal, I got a Thelma bobble head and Kevin asked "Is that the hot one from Scooby Doo?" WUT. I laughed and clarified: "It's the nerd one, Thelma is the nerd one." He's all "I know." And he says I'm weird.
I don't know what I expected but like always, with anything with my family, it wasn't what I expected.
It was like no time had passed, like my mom had just seen me the day before. Kevin mentioned how it felt odd to be "back" at one point and my mom seemed almost a little confused. It occurred to me later that it was because the family continued to see each other during the pandemic, it was just me that was absent.
We've spoken about once a month over the past 18 months but I thought it was interesting that not one question was posed about our well-being, what we had been up to, anything. And I look a little different since she saw me last: I'm the one person who lost weight during Covid, I learned how to cut my own hair and it's different than when she last saw me and I'm dressing a little differently. Nope, nothing. And she often comments on weight...to everyone's dismay.
She did however, refer to Dr. Fauci in a really subtle racist way. So that's...great.
We didn't leave in time to avoid one of my brothers. We tried to visit for a few but when he dropped a "You can't trust *a specific race*" we left. Yeah, so didn't miss my family. I mean, there wasn't one moment of "Oh, this is nice."
By the time we returned home, the kids were showing up next door. Five was already there and we went to the creek and played. I live for these times with him, I know they're fleeting. Especially since he's FIVE, as he will tell me. (five in years old and in succession)
Then we got to see nearly all of the kids, the bigs and the not-so-littles. We've seen them from a distance or at the beginning of all of this but this was the first time to actually spend time. My soul is full. They're all taller than me now, by like a lot. Like before, they're fun to sit and have conversations with. When asked where they would travel, unlimited, they all thought about it. One was Fiji, which is amazing to think about because he's the kind of kid that would make it happen. One of the triplets asked if he could think about it, it was a big decision. I just love how different they are.
And my niece...she's a teen now and I so empathize with her. She's grown up similar to me (with significantly better parents though), a girl in boy world. We discussed the key to life is to not give a sh*t about what anyone else thinks. Then - unrelated - she scratched her name into her grandpa's picnic table. She paused when she realized that I saw her but I just whispered "Go ahead and finish. I love it. I got your back if he flips out." She smiled and finished. I kind of want to sneak down and put a sealant over it so it stays forever. I took a photo instead.
I got to spend time with the adult kids too, each of them individually and together. One-on-one time is RARE and the planets aligned this year to make this happen. We refer to the as "The Kids" as if they're ours; but only between Kevin and I. His brother would not be happy if he knew. I get that on some level but I also don't because he's so not a great dad. #shutupandobetter
My point being is even though it wasn't "MY" day, it turned out to be a good day. Time spent with the kids is always good and after being separated for so long, it added to the day. The alternate reality that is my family surely added to my appreciation of the kids.
Then I posted photos on the social media to celebrate the day and everyone finally being together. Like a mother.