A couple of weeks ago, Sea and I were at a friend’s birthday party when a friend asked, “Are you two doing anything for Mother’s Day?”
I didn’t reply, I didn’t even turn to look at the friend. Actually, I assumed she was talking to somebody else. Why would we be doing something for Mother’s Day? After an uncomfortable pause, I realized that nobody else was answering and that the question had been directed at us. “Uh, no.”
The truth is, I don’t feel like a mother. Not yet, anyways. I hadn’t even thought about Mother’s Day, beyond the card I had bought– still sitting at the bottom of my bag– to send to my own mother.
After Sea and I left the party, we briefly worried aloud about whether we were supposed to do something for each other. And in a family of two not-yet mothers, who was the one responsible for making the other breakfast? We quickly agreed that neither of us would do anything for the other on Mother’s Day. Not this year, not next year, not until Bingo comes home with fingerpainted cards and takes on responsibility for the holiday.
Then, the day before Mother’s Day, the flowers arrived: an elaborate bouquet in a wide glass vase. The card read, “To the mothers to be. Lots of love.”* It was from my mother.
I still didn’t feel like a mother. I felt appreciation for my mother’s thoughtfulness, guilt for the card still sitting at the bottom of my bag, and something else. Anticipation, maybe? Excitement? Not like a mother, but maybe like one of two mothers-to-be.
*I would later find out that the original message had been much longer, containing metaphors about passing on the torch and other similar sentiments. It had been edited (whether for length or content, I don’t know) by the florist.