Yesterday marked the fourth Mother's Day that didn’t suck for me since, well, about since I've been in my 30s.
The beginning part of the decade was marked by a really rocky relationship with my own mother. She was in the midst of this utterly ridiculous midlife crisis that caused a lot of questionable behavior, including separating from my father. The first year we were in our house, I carefully planned with her what she might want to do and what she'd be comfortable with given the broken nature of my family. I prepared a nice brunch for her and my grandmother, cleaning and cooking and buying a gift, only to get a call the next morning that she was too sick to come.
The sickness in question being a raging case of brown-bottle flu, since she and her friend had been boozing it up at the Bue Martini the night before. And this behavior was not atypical.
In my mom's defense, that remains the worst thing she's ever done to me.
And Mother's Day when you're going through infertility is just a minefield of hell. I had to stop going to church that day — I just couldn’t take it anymore.
And then came Maggie, and suddenly I was the mother on Mother's Day.
Last year, my friend Karyn gave birth to her long-awaited second son the day before Mothers' Day, and I got the call the next afternoon as I arrived home from church. My period had started that day too, and I remember thinking as Maggie clambered on me as I tried to listen to the message that my period coming on Mothers' Day was the kind of thing that used to really suck, but instead I was just happy for my friend and hopeful for myself.
Of course, I had no way of knowing that was the last period I’d have for a year, that the cycle I began that day would result in the pregnancy that would result in Will.
My sweet little Will, who was baptized Saturday, again the day before Mother's Day, in a ceremony I couldn’t help but feel marked the closing of a circle and a rebirth for both me and my baby. From hurting daughter and barren wife to a joyful mother, dipping my son in the holy water, my daughter and godson looking on. From feeling like an outcast in my church community and like my family would never heal, to being warmed by the glow of the family Paul and I created and my parents, standing together, reunited.
A day that once pointed out everything I lacked was, yesterday, a reminder of everything I have gained. And to say I am grateful is not enough. I am redeemed.