This weekend was Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day has never been a particularly thrilling holiday for me. My first husband was not big on planning and my little boy really doesn’t see the need to shower me with attention or affection. But this year had the potential to be particularly awkward.
My now husband is big on celebrations – of all kinds. When it’s your birthday, you are in essence king for a day. His kids, having grown up with that, are a bit more effusive about things like Mother’s Day than my own child. However, I am not their mom. I figured the best way for me to approach the day was to 1) have very low expectations and 2) decide to be on their team to help celebrate their mom rather than to be seen as an adversary. So, I worked with them starting a month ago. I took pictures of each of them and I interviewed them asking questions like “What is your favorite thing to do with your mom?” “What is the best thing your mom cooks?””What is your favorite song that your mom sings?” I put the photos and the answer together in a book for them to give their mom. It was fun to work on the project together and I knew it was something she would like.
The bigger challenge was that my husband really felt like the kids should also celebrate me. He pointed out that I am there making dinner, doing laundry, driving school shuttles, etc. Though there is truth to that, I knew that forcing the issue was not going to endear me to them.
In the end, he settled for a card and asked them each to sign it. Most of them simply wrote their names – heck, even Justin (who I have taken care of for eight years) only wrote his name. But Julia, the 16-year old, wrote that she felt we were separated at birth, that she feels so lucky to have me in her life, that I deserved to be pampered on Mom’s Day after taking such good care of everyone else and that she was glad I was her mom. Now, I certainly wouldn’t want to in any way diminish my bonus kids’ loyalty or affection for their mom, but those words in that card absolutely made my day. One of my best Mother’s Day memories ever.