I lead a strange double life. Most of the time, I am the on-duty mama, the only parent in my household, and I am responsible for taking care of my son. If I don't get it done, it doesn't happen. Then, on a Saturday morning twice a month, my son leaves with my ex and there is no child in the house. Though I know that I need the occasional break, I sometimes don't recognize my life in this in-between-zone. I've gone from being the parent who always has a child around to the parent of an absent child, a Mama with no immediate parenting chore to complete. It's a strange pattern and I don't reckon that I will ever get completely used to it.
He'll be home early this afternoon so we can share some time on Mother's Day. We've planned to plant some flowerpots together and maybe go for a walk in the woods. Tonight, he'll be tucked in his bed as usual. And I will be immensely grateful for the blessing that is my boy. In the nine years I've been a parent and especially the three years that I've been a Mama on my own, I've come to realize that it's the little moments that build a life.
And just one day, even Mother's Day, doesn't compare much with a lifetime. Though I enjoy a celebration as much as the next person, for me the happiness of motherhood is in the very ordinary state of daily life with my child. It's in the sound of his laughter. It's in the way we share stories about Tiger and Lucy. It's in the suppers we eat together, in a lazy Saturday morning spent hanging out, in the books I read to him at night, our laughter as we brush our teeth side-by-side, the afternoon bike rides we take, the pleasure I get when we walk through the garden together, in the way my heart swells with love when he smiles and says, "hi, Mama," when I see him at the end of each school day. It's in the everything and the nothing. It just is.
My baby. My child. My boy. Without a doubt, the daily presence of my son is the best gift I ever received from the universe. I love him with all my heart, so fully and so completely that I can't even imagine how it would be if he was not in this world by my side. And so that's what Mother's Day means to me. Being JT's Mama, everyday.