19/52 – Reminders
If you were to think that this balloon is the Doodle’s, you’d be wrong. It’s my balloon. It was gifted to me by the Doodle.
Mother’s Day is usually only remarkable in our house in the way that it is difficult. For the big kids, Mother’s Day is a reminder of their birth mom. It conjures all of the conflicting emotions around early childhood and how they came to be adopted by us. For Bubaloo, in particular, it’s a dark time of the year. There will never be a good answer to the question, “Why could my mom not get a job like you and keep us? Didn’t she love us enough?”
Love and excelling at adulthood responsibilities cannot be equated. Sometimes all the love in the world can’t help a mother get it together. Sometimes there are just too many demons to battle. But there are not enough ways you can assure a child that their mom does indeed love them. She loves them very much. She loved them enough to realize that she couldn’t care for them and give them the life she wanted for them, so she sought out parents that could.
And in that backdrop, the celebration of our motherhood through adoption is often muted and cloudy. It’s a celebration that Otto and I may have privately, but it’s not one that we ask the big kids to participate in.
Then along came the Doodle.
She changed the relationship to Mother’s Day for us this year. Maybe mostly because this kid likes a party and now thinks that cake and balloons should be a part of everyday life. Maybe the toddler is on to something. Everyone should revel in a balloon.
Otto decided that Mother’s Day would be about me this year. I didn’t balk. It’s be a tough couple of weeks around here for both of us so I took a moment to graciously accept the offer to be self-absorbed.
The Doodle and Otto plotted to make the morning special for me. I was aware that it was supposed to involve sleeping in, a breakfast, and a surprise.
Only the beans got spilled on the surprise when Otto asked the Doodle the night before, “Do we have a surprise for Mommy for Mother’s Day?” The Doodle was supposed to shout out “YES!” only instead she shouted out “BALLOON!!!”
I woke up at 6:00 am on Mother’s Day and snuck some glorious time to by myself in. Then I crawled back into bed at 8:00 am to wait for the Doodle to wake up. I waited, waited and waited. Around 8:45am she was up, wished me a “Hello Mommy” and then a while later returned with my Mother’s Day balloon. It was a Dora balloon.
Upon seeing that I got a balloon decorated with a character that the Doodle loves, I laughed aloud. There’s something particularly funny in the self-centred way that kids pick gifts for others. The Doodle’s world is still really small at two years of age and she’s not particularly in tune with my preferences.
Otto reported that when the Doodle was asked to pick a balloon for me, she first selected an E.lmo balloon. But when asked if she really thought I’d enjoy an E.lmo balloon, the Doodle decided that wasn’t likely. So instead she declared that a D.ora balloon would make the perfect gift.
I think it’s perfect, too. It’s a reminder of all the different ways motherhood is marked in our house.