I had an absolutely beautiful Mother’s Day yesterday. I, honestly, could not have imagined a more perfect balance of time with Ezzy, time as a family, time with my own mom, and time alone. And Ezzy was in the kind of delightful mood she is so known for…all day long. She was giggly and smiley and goofy without a break (straight up until after midnight, by the way).

My expectations for a perfect Mother’s Day weren’t fancy. I wanted to wake up around 8, and I did. I wanted to garden a little bit–something I rarely do since Ezzy was born–I did. I wanted to do my typical Sunday stuff: pick up a bit, organize, fold some laundry (you know I did that!) I wanted to snuggle my girly…which we got a bright and early start with at 3:45am! Ezzy is such an overachiever! And I wanted to spend some nice time with my mom…which we did.

I have to admit, Mother’s Day has a bit of a bittersweet feeling to it. My “first” Mother’s Day I was that kind of joyful and naive 5 weeks pregnant that thinks it is a good idea to make a cute and obscur announcement to my mother through a gift, in this case two pairs of slippers: one for mom and little ones for baby. The self-assurance of that act makes me cringe to this day.

The following Mother’s Day I spent next to Esmé in the Pediatric Intensive Care, quietly holding her keeping her comfortable until her surgery scheduled for the next morning…just so thankful that she had survived. In some ways this was the most horrible of scenarios for Mother’s Day. No one wants to spend Mother’s Day (or any day) with their child in the hospital. In other ways, however, it started off my life as a Mother with very clear priorities. Mother’s Day wasn’t about sleeping until 10 or getting breakfast in bed or gifts. It was about being there with my girl…it was, quite literally, about her life, her breath, her existence.

I suppose I cannot help but feel the dissonance between those two experiences of “motherhood” on Mother’s Day…that so envelopes the whiplash of my mothering experience. Now as my mothering (thank the gods) is increasingly less about urgent or critical care and more about adaptive care, I am trying to settle into being a mom to a special-needs child, rather than an emergency medical team (for now). I struggle, especially on days like Mother’s Day, to know where I fit in.

Mother’s Day reminds me of what now seems absurd self-assurance of pregnancy and motherhood: Of course I’ll have a baby and of course it will grow into a healthy child…because that is what so many people’s experiences are. Which is not to say that there aren’t bumps in the road or scares for EVERYONE. But, I trust you know what I mean. To me, as a person whose one and only child is medically-fragile, it seems completely absurd that a person can have any healthy children at all (How DOES that happen, when you consider all that has to happen perfectly to produce a healthy child?!) let alone two or three or more children who sit up and walk and talk and run…and don’t have seizures…

I say all of this knowing that I wouldn’t change my life. I love my unusual family. I love the bizarre way I see the world because of my unusual family. I am happier than I have ever been–including when I was blissfully pregnant…And, I suppose, that is the reason I had such a beautiful Mother’s Day.

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