Mother’s Day is hard for me. It always has been. For some reason, I am very resistant to being recognized for my role in my children’s lives. Well, maybe that makes sense. I do the things I do because I want to. I don’t want recognition. Thanks are always nice but no big fanfare, please. I always felt like Mother’s Day was more about how it made other people feel about themselves and less about the actual mothers who were being “honored”.
The past few years have been tougher. As I shared in a previous post, when I learned the truth about my middle son, K, I was assaulted with so many emotions. It seemed that most of them fell directly under the heading “Ways I Failed as a Mother”. I didn’t think I failed because K is transgender. Not for one second. I felt like I should have figured out what was going on. What kind of mother doesn’t notice that she has a son trapped in a girl’s body? Okay, looking at that, I know it is silly. How could I know? For most of K’s life I didn’t even know the word “transgender” existed. It makes sense to me that on a day that’s all about being a mother, I should be reminded of what I consider my parenting shortcomings. It tends to not be a fun day for me.
That being said, I only received one Mother’s Day card yesterday.
Yes, it says “With Love from Your Daughter”. It’s from my daughter-in-law. I could tell she was a little nervous about giving it to me. To presume she could call herself my daughter. More than once she repeated that it was the only one that was perfect. It talks about support, encouragement, love….all the mom words. It is a beautiful card and it means the world to me. Jasmine has only been my daughter-in-law for 4 months. My son brought her into our family at our low point. We were a wounded bunch, holding onto each other and trying to make our way through. She didn’t miss a beat. She just jumped in and held on. She had no clue what she was signing on for and there are days that I’m sure she thinks we are nuts!
I miss that other daughter, the one I thought I had for 18 years. I miss her so much it hurts my heart at times. But you know what? I love the son I got in return. He was who was supposed to be here all along. I’m glad he’s finally here!
And my new daughter, Jasmine? She is loving, kind, compassionate, strong and calm. We needed another girl around here and I’m so glad it’s her. When I look at that card with those words across the top “With Love from Your Daughter” that other daughter comes to mind, but she is joined by the new daughter and although my heart aches a little, there’s room to love my new daughter and build a relationship with the woman with whom my son has chosen to share his life. She brings an element of calm to the family that we were lacking. It means so much to me that she gave me this card. Maybe I’m not the overbearing mother-in-law after all? I am so lucky to have her!