Today we celebrated my fourth Mother’s Day. I received many messages from mom friends and non-mom friends letting me know that I was heavy on their hearts today. It is nice to know that less than four months later, we are still being thought of often. And by people I don’t regularly talk to at that.
Today actually went better than expected. Just thinking about Mother’s Day a few weeks ago made me anxious and emotional. I anticipated the day to be a dark one. One that would pull me in multiple directions as I tried to feel the joy of being a mother to Piper and the deep sorrow of being a mother to Estelle.
We decided to turn down all Mother’s Day invites this year and essentially sit this one out. Luckily our own mothers understood and honored this decision. I believe this decision set me up for success today. I didn’t have to be on. I didn’t have to act. I didn’t have to do anything I wasn’t up to doing. I was able to use my energy to be in the moment with my living child while still being able to honor the one who isn’t living. I also stayed mostly off of social media which helped keep my mood level since pictures of other people’s whole families remind me of the ache I feel deep in my core.
Yesterday I spent the day cleaning Estelle’s room. After she was born we put all baby items in her room and shut the door. I don’t know why, but yesterday felt like the day to organize it. We put the car seat, rock and play, and other items back in storage. I put sheets on the crib mattress, and I laid out the same blanket she was buried in (I bought a duplicate when I came face-to-face with it at Target a month or so ago) over the edge of the crib. It felt good to spend the afternoon in her room and leave the door open when I was done. I even hung up a crystal we received from a friend that sends rainbows across the room when the sun hits it.
That night I slept great. When we woke up on Mother’s Day morning Justin said we could do whatever I wanted. We started the day at my favorite gluten free bakery in Minneapolis. We then headed to Stillwater for a donut and cupcake picnic at the cemetery. It’s funny how quickly that has started to feel normal and honestly, quite peaceful. Piper ran around, collected rocks for her sister, and we watched other grieving people come and go.
After our visit with Estelle we stopped at the grocery store and headed home. Justin planted the Forsythia bush my parents got me, and Piper played with the neighbor kids. I took a walk outside, prepped dinner, and at the last minute we decided to eat with our neighbors since the kids were still playing.
It was a relaxing and enjoyable evening that I am thankful for. I snuck in to give Piper one more kiss before she fell asleep, and I kneeled by her bed and told her that I was so happy to be her Mom. She gave me a kiss, rolled over, and whispered, Happy Mother’s Day. As I walked down the hall I looked at the sunset through Estelle’s window and felt a slight moment of peace about what motherhood looks like for me.