There, I reminded you of that.
And, having done that, I think days like Mother's Day are really out of place with the real world, and even the creator of it tried to wipe it away. I'm thankful my children's school doesn't force them to celebrate because all I can think of is how the kids who don't have mothers or functional mothers feel. What a nice reminder that must be.
It's sort of like Valentine's Day. It's really cute, but that is really all it is.
On days like this, I remember that who you are related to is a coincidence. A family is who loves and cares for you.
Back when I was newly in college: tired, kinda of scared, awkward, and for some reason still awake well past eleven in the evening at my best friend's house. Being smarter, my friend had gone to bed when she should. I remember just sitting there in the kitchen in these retro cushioned chairs at a table that belonged in a diner. My best friend's mom, who was still up also, just starts popping open Tupperware containers of food.
Because she knows I haven't eaten in a long time. She knows even when I don't tell her. And I kind of want to cry, and all I can remember is that I don't want to go back home.
Everything about her is warm. Her skin color, and her dark hair and eyes, and her loud voice. She sort of paces and then sits down and tells me she understands completely why I'm hurting. She's seen it, she's lived it. And that was probably the first time I knew someone totally saw me. Saw the things I couldn't talk about. She'd always been inviting and protective of me, but I had no idea that she saw what I was dealing with and running from without having to be told. She sat down with me, and I ate. I'm sure she was tired and wanted to be in bed. But that was love. That was what love was like.
Because of my best friend and her family I had the courage to talk to my future husband. They threw my baby shower. They did stuff for my graduation. They helped us settle in when moving after getting married. And they didn't have to do any of it. Ever. It was a choice. But I will never forget the night she told me just that she SAW me.
My best friend's mom wasn't perfect. You don't have to be perfect. For the love of everything, no day you have as a mom will be anywhere close to perfect. That's the scariest part about parenting. You will screw up. And you'll screw up on a least a few bigs things.
But, perfect isn't what it takes to be good. That's a different thing entirely.
So celebrate Mother's Day if that was something you were lucky enough to have, and celebrate it on the days where it doesn't get a holiday, too. Not all of us will be born into it, so help your friends who weren't, because they need it. This kind of love is important. That's why it gets a flimsy holiday. That's why a million stories and poems were based on it.
For me, it's also a reminder to be the best mother I can be. And to apologize when I can't be everything my kids deserve. And to keep learning how to be better, so one day they can look to me the way I looked to the woman who didn't have any blood ties to me but acted like a mother.