Today is Mother’s Day. I had completely forgotten about it. Yesterday R complained a couple of times about feeling tired. I didn’t think much of it because he tends to stay up late at night reading. Around 9pm he looked terrible, I walked up to him and put my hand on his shoulder. Even through his shirt I could feel he was burning up. I took his temperature and sure enough, he had a fever of 103.4. I was shocked and worried. Kevin gave him Tylenol and we sent him to bed. We checked on him often. Around 10pm his fever was down to 100.5. This morning he still had a fever of about 100. He is complaining that his throat hurts. I wonder if he has Strep. The Instacare doesn’t open until noon. So we’re waiting to take him. He’s doing okay. He is lying on the couch reading a book. The fact that it is Mother’s Day was the furthest thing from my mind. I didn’t remember until T gave me the beautiful card that she made for me. Inside of the card were “coupons” that I could use- one for her doing laundry, one for her making dinner, etc. She also wrote the sweetest note inside. After T gave me her card, the other kids gave me theirs as well. Such sweet notes.
It struck me as kind of funny really. It wasn’t too many years ago that Mother’s Day was one of the most painful days of the year for me. When you so desperately want to be a mother and can’t, you dread Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day is always made a big deal of at church. It used to be that they had all of the mothers stand in sacrament meeting and they were each given a flower. In more recent years someone finally figured out how painful that was to those that didn’t have children and wanted them, so they changed it. I think now they have all adult women stand and they are given a flower or some other token. But even that was painful; it felt like a consolation prize and all of the talks about how there are other ways to be a "mother" without actually being one, felt like salt on a wound. It got to the point where I stopped going to church on Mother’s Day. Kevin and I had been trying for years to have children. Adoption was very expensive. So for the first half of our marriage it was just the two of us. We had a lot of fun together but there’s a hole that can’t be filled by anything else when you want a child. Mother’s Day was that painful reminder that the hole in my heart was getting bigger each year. We began the lengthy and expensive adoption process. Things were progressing slowly. It took two years to bring our sons home. My very first Mother’s Day was the day after we arrived home from Kazakhstan. We got home Saturday evening and Mother’s Day was that very next Sunday. Kevin and I had jetlag and we were exhausted. But the boys were so excited about being in their new home that they barely slept, if at all, that first night. Instead, bright and early that Sunday morning they were bouncing on our bed and talking 90 miles a minute in Russian about how exciting everything was. My first Mother’s Day:-) Everyone knows I’m a big advocate for adoption and I make a point to talk about it all of the time. But in reality I don’t really think about it very much. My children are just my children. When I’m brushing C’s hair, teasing T about boys, helping J with his homework or laughing at R’s silly jokes, I’m not thinking about adoption. I’m just a mom doing mom things. Today I was just a mom worried about her son. I was so wrapped up in mothering my sick son that I completely forgot about Mother’s Day. The irony made me smile. I thought about all of those painful Mother’s Days. I wish I could time travel and go back to my younger self and tell her that in a few years time I’d be so wrapped up in being a mother that I won’t even remember that it is Mother’s Day. The distinction between biological and adopted children is funny to me. I’ve suffered blood, sweat and tears over my children- it doesn’t get more biological than that. I have four beautiful children that I love with all my heart. Every day is Mother’s Day.