I am at my table, my laptop open to a multitude of browsers as I google health conditions, after effects, treatment plans. On the side lies a pile of paper caps with hand drawn dinosaurs on them. It is adorable. It is annoying.
I love the art my children create. Yet, it becomes overwhelming sometimes. The bits of paper, glue, scissors, stapler pins. The mounds of sweet nothings accumulate over time. It takes over my study. It has crept into my bedroom. I even find it on my bathroom vanity.
The second Mother’s Day during a pandemic limits the kind of treats I can ask for. It is a moment of reflection for me.
The identity I wear loudly is that of a mother. It eclipses all other other roles I play and the identities I carry. For the moment, being a mother and mothering is all I know. On the other end, I am a caregiver for my mother.
Caregiving and nurturing takes a toll. It is felt as an acute need for space. I long for glorious stretches of silence. I dream of waking up without the weight of responsibility pressing on me. I long to go to bed without having to compute how much sleep I can manage if I sneak a movie in on a weekday.
I miss all the little things about being a person. When our lives have become confined to the homes we are in, any respite feels huge. In the brief periods of time when the kids are in the yard, I look through the window, the glass muting the sounds. I enjoy watching them play. I walk around the block, my hands linked with one of my girls. It feels good, these small periods of willing contact.
I wish I could be the kind of mother I aspire to be – endlessly patient, exceedingly aware, utterly grateful. I am these things in small measures, in small dollops. I want to be the mother worthy of a day dedicated to her. Unfortunately, I fall short.
So, tomorrow, I will wake up with the same weight crushing me. I will dole out patience, calm, and love in doses and hold back on the impatience. I will make the time for self-care. I will wish my mother and say prayers of gratitude that she is healthy and out of harm’s way. Other than that, I will go back to being my grouchy old self.
Happy Mother’s Day!