Sunday, May 09, 2010

Mother's Day Cards - by Cyma

I remember the first Mother's Day card I received. It was six years ago. I'd been a new mom for two months. I was more than timid about reading the card; nearly embarrassed about acknowledging my new-found status.

It was similar to an incident which occurred around the same time. While at a local Blockbuster, my baby called out to me in front of some acquaintances. Unaware that I'd become a new mom, they nearly paled when they saw that I was the recipient. I couldn't face them directly, but caught their disbelief out of the corner of my eye. I was almost embarrassed for them. I wondered whether I appeared "motherly enough;" whether they'd ever seen me in that light.

I also remember strolling my baby around town and having people express surprise seeing me as a new mom. They would smile and say I 'wore it well,' but I wasn't sure how to act or what to do. The armor I'd worn in public was stripped - the world could now see what I'd always longed for (but hidden), would witness a more transparent person, not the one who carefully presented the image she had wanted to. Suddenly, I was part of a club which I'd never ever thought I'd join, nor believed that I could ever be a member.

"Motherhood" held a different meaning to me than before I had children. I realized that while nearly everyone could be a mother, not everyone could wear motherhood well.
So, finding myself in these new 'clothes,' I kept squirming -- the arms were too long, the neck too tight; they were often too baggy or the wrong color. There was that same old familiar embarrassment, again.

Which brings me back to the Mother's Day cards. As the years passed, the cards felt more appropriate, the words more endearing. The printed words "Mother or "Mom" made me more joyful, made my heart skip a beat. So, while the experience became more customary and usual, it was the 'same old, same old,' but in a very, very good way.

This year, as I am looking forward to getting all my cards (breakfast in bed and presents?), I will gratefully open them and express my surprise/gratitude/happiness with laughter/crying/joy. And, while I surely will express myself a little more exuberantly than usual, it will only be because I am just glad to be here and celebrating a day which now feels right for me.  Mother's Day.

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