Sunday, Mother’s Day, was a strange day for me. My first Mother’s Day as a separated-soon-to-be divorced mom.
I didn’t realize how much this first Mother’s Day alone with my children would affect me. I mean, it is about being a mom, so you and your kids should suffice, right? But it just felt strange and empty and big.
There is also the fact that Mother’s Day, like most holidays, has certain traditional expectations, and I could see pretty early on that this particular Mother’s Day was not going to conform to the modern Mother’s Day ideal.
There would be no restaurant brunch, or picturesque picnic or breakfast in bed. My kids are still too young to pull this off. (And you’re right if you’re thinking that I could have planned this for myself -- I could have, but I didn’t. I didn’t know I’d feel this way -- and honestly I’ve not been very good at planning anything in advance the last couple of months).
So it was going to be different. Big deal. And anyway, I was greeted at the door with a bouquet of flowers, which everybody knows is very traditional.
Dyed blue daisies and pink carnations -- an arrangement so obviously my children’s taste it made me grin.
I decided this Mother’s Day morning was going to be spent at Costco. I figured it would be empty because all the other moms would be eating brunch or picnicking or sleeping in.
We go. We shop. We even eat the greasy pizza slices and hot dogs (okay, AND churros) and wash them all down with the berry smoothies (which definitely do not contain any real fruit).
It’s Mother’s Day, I didn’t have to make lunch, I’m with my gorgeous girls, and we’re full and happy. Feeling grateful I thank them again for my flowers.
My oldest says “You’re Welcome, Mom” and then adds that Denise helped them pick the flowers out.
“Denise?” I ask, completely surprised.
“Yeah, Denise. She went to the play at Jr. Theater with us yesterday and then we stopped on the way home to get you flowers.”
[Denise, for those of you who don’t know, is “the other woman,” the woman my husband left me for. The woman he has been seeing sporadically ever since.]
Denise helped with the flower selection? Now I wonder if she suggested the pink carnations (the ugliest flowers ever grown) and the blue daisies that have since turned the water in the vase a shade the Ty-D-Bowl man would be proud of. Is she getting some perverse satisfaction from the fact that I received a rather hideous Mother’s Day bouquet?
Surprisingly, I laugh out loud. How absurd life is. How entertaining. How ironic.
And maybe, just maybe, Denise only wanted to help my girls pick out something they’d feel proud to give their mom. Maybe it had nothing at all to do with me. Or maybe it did, maybe she wanted to make sure that I’d get something traditional this first Mother’s Day alone.
Either way, Happy Belated Mother’s Day to you, Denise. (But please, oh please, steer them toward the Gerber daisies next year!)