My very first Mother's Day is today, though the blessed event hasn't occurred yet. I guess it counts, since it's pretty clear there's a real, live human being in there, ready (pretty much) to join us, though it's still very surreal to me.
I've been remembered, with cards, gifts, fresh pain au chocolat for breakfast, and flowers. Dr. B gave me a very special gift, to remind me that just because I'm a soon-to-be Mommy, I'm still a Hot Wife to him, though I may feel not so sexy due to hormone fluctuations, hot flashes, mega-zit explosions, leaky bits, funny smells, constipation, parts of my body I can no longer see, tight clothing, funky cowlicks, puffy feet, interesting color changes, cankles, parts of me that now sit permanently on other parts of me, and of course, the ubiquitous enormous bump in the front. I won't mention my thankfulness for certain other pregnancy symptoms I haven't had to deal with, because it's not over until it's over. (Or until the Fat Lady sings, and I have a feeling I'll need some recovery time before I'm in any mood to do that.)
But today, I admit, I've got the blues. Maybe it's due to hormones. Or the weather (it's rather gloomy here.) But I think it's more due to missing my mom, who we lost in 1998, before we could celebrate Mother's Day that year. My anger over the reasons for her death is long gone. I understand now. I've accepted it. I know that I couldn't have saved her. I tried, so many times. But it wasn't up to me. I know this. But it still hurts, that she's gone. That she left us so early. Knowing what she is missing.
I've been missing her more and more as this pregnancy has gone on, wishing she was here to share our excitement, joy, and impart the practical and frank wisdom she was known for. I've had a few dreams of her, and I know she is watching, but it still aches that she's not here. It's amazing how fresh it can feel, even after nearly a decade. I've carefully washed and pressed the little dresses she saved for me, the blanket she bought for our baby over 9 years ago, when we were only newlyweds, and the baptism dress and blanket she stored away from my own baptism in 1973. I've hung the antique lithographs of children she collected in Zizou's nursery, and placed the "Mother's Prayer" plaque that hung above my own crib nearby. I'm grateful to have all these things, reminders of her, and of how much she already loved her grandchild, years before she came into the world. But I'd rather have her.
I worry. That I am not prepared. That I'm not going to 'do it right' when it comes to labor. That something will go wrong. That I won't be able to handle it. That I'll make some major mistake. That I won't be a good mom. That I won't be as good as she was.
I know that all these fears are irrational, and that I've been preparing the best way possible for as long as I can remember. (Ten years of teaching is nothing to shake a stick at.) I know I'll do fine, and will have great support from family and friends, that my instincts are good, that she'll love me no matter what.
But still. That little voice won't stop saying, "what if?"
I wish there was a direct phone line to Heaven.
Happy Mother's Day, Mom. I miss you.