Yes, yes, I know. Mothers' Day was a week ago and I am a slacker. However, its been a rough week on the sleep front, so I haven't had much motivation to write.
Last year Mothers' Day was sort of hard for us. We had the foster kids so we had lots of well-wishes and A's mom gave us photos of the foster kiddos we've had in starfish frames (here is a version of the starfish story). The week before we had helped the kids make a hand and foot print painting for their mother, and sent all of the crafts from daycare home for her as well. Overall it was a good day, but bittersweet none the less. How can you celebrate your family when you prepare by making presents
for the "real" mother? How can you really be a mother when it is temporary?
This year was different. While we were trying to figure out what to do for our mothers, A asked what I wanted. I replied that I didn't really want anything and asked if she did. She looked a little disappointed, but said no. I tend to be a scrooge about holidays which is a sharp contrast from A. I realized that I needed to figure out how to make sure we always have a happy Mothers' Day.
Over the next few days I spent some time thinking about what I really wanted, what was important about the holiday, and why I wasn't looking forward to it. What I realized is that I've started finding a lot of the holidays to just be stressful. All of the ads for gifts are ridiculous. Not only would I never want someone to give me any of these "perfect gift for all of the mothers in your life", but I really don't have anyone who would want to receive one. So what is the real "perfect gift"? Why do we give gifts at all? Gifts are just a token that show someone we were thinking about them and care about them. So why does it have to be tangible?
My ideal Mothers' Day, as it turns out, really doesn't need any traditional gifts. When I thought about it, I just wanted a day that we could celebrate our family. This is what I told A. I just wanted to be able to get away from the everyday stresses and be together. Lately this means being outside. She seemed on board. So this will be our new tradition. We will go on a picnic or camping, we will be together, and we won't worry about anything else.
That brings us to this year! I told my mom how I felt and asked if they wanted to go on a brunch picnic with us, and she loved the idea. It turned out that our brunch menu was a little over-ambitious, but we made it to our picnic eventually. We had a made a carmelized onion, spinach, and gruyere cheese strata, fruit salad, muffins, and bacon. We packed our cooler, picked my parents up, and headed to Saguaro National Park. We got there and drove to the more out-of-the-way picnic area and set up. It was then that we realized we forgot the most important part of the meal, the bacon! By this point is was getting rather warm out, but we went on a short hike anyways. We took lots of pictures and got attacked by lots of gnats!
That afternoon we drove up to Casa Grande and met A's family for an early dinner. Her parents got us a few books on motherhood. We ate a big meal at Chili's and hung out for a while catching up and showing off A's new car (which has been named Mo). Eventually we started our trek home. Both ways I worked on a hat for our little girl. Unfortunately I think it is too big... well really I hope its too big!
As we were getting closer I suggested we watch stop and rent "Willow" since A hadn't seen it. So we got it and headed home for a nice evening snuggled up on the couch.
We talk with other lesbian parents on an online forum and over the next few days everyone recounted their Mothers' days. It was sad to see how poorly many of the non-gestational mothers were treated by their families or their partner's families. One story that really struck me was a woman who was the non-gestational parent for their first and just gave birth to their second. Her family congratulated her on her first Mothers' day as a real mother. There were a few other couples who it was even more complicated by the non-gestational mother being butch. It seems like there were a lot of hurt feelings. That being said, our families and friends were wonderful!
I leave you with a comic that someone posted on the forum-