Saturday, May 10, 2008

In the club

Tomorrow will be my third Mother's Day as an honoree. Three years ago, I was so newly pregnant that we didn't even know it. Three years ago, we'd stay out until 2 if we felt like it, and sleep until noon if we felt like it. Three years ago, I spent spending money on me. We'd recently returned from a trip to Italy, and were daydreaming of our next vacation abroad. We were also daydreaming of a baby, though, not knowing she was on the way, not knowing how crazy that dream was.

Tonight that dream climbed up in my lap, conversed in paragraphs in English, asked for snuggles, brushed away my kisses, counted to three in Hebrew, and agreed to be finally tucked in. Tomorrow our second dream will be five months old. She crawls and laughs and speaks with her eyes. Tomorrow we're going to feed her her first bowl of cereal. And take way too many pictures, just as we've done once before.

All week I've been receiving Mother's Day wishes from friends and colleagues. M gave me a beautiful bracelet on Monday; a coworker friend whose own mom is gone gave me and each of the moms he cares about a silk rose on Tuesday; my daughters (with a little help from their teachers) gave me gifts that they made yesterday. I feel special to be their mother all year long; but this week being A Mother has meant extra kind gestures and notices of appreciation that truly make me feel loved. The saying goes that motherhood is a thankless job. I think for me it often isn't so thankless, but it truly hasn't been these past few days.

My mother is spending tomorrow as the first Mother's Day without her own mom. Mom, you're the matriarch of the family now, a mantle you inherited from a very strong woman. Wear it proudly, and until 120. Happy Mother's Day.

To M's mom, whose love for her family is the most pure and open and uncomplicated I know, Happy Mother's Day.

Many of my closest friends were mommies before I became one, but I've also met some of my very favorite women through The Mommyhood. And one of my oldest, dearest friends is nine weeks from her first initiation. To all of you, Happy Mother's Day.

This was an identity I wasn't always sure I was interested in claiming. Tomorrow I'm going to celebrate my girls with extra kisses. One will think that they're just an invitation to a meal, and the other will try to reject them, grabbing the kissed places with her fists, throwing the invisible affections in the air, and yelling, "Take them back, Mama!" Like most days with our progeny, it will be an exhausting, drool-filled, wonderful day. Pin It