I had a most unexpected Mother's Day surprise. T. stumbled in to the living room early this morning with his hands hidden behind his back, then held out a card and mumbled "Happy Mother's Day." The ornate pink card included a simple handwritten note that said, "Thanks for everything. With love." Then he ordered me to go back to bed while he and Tim prepared pancakes. He brought the pancakes in and sat at the foot of my bed while we had breakfast and lounged around reading gossip magazines.
Since he's my first kid, I've never had a Mother's Day card before. Since he's been through 16 previous homes before landing with us, I didn't expect Mother's Day to fit into his realm of norm. And since this time last year I didn't even know him, I hardly thought he'd be serving me brunch in bed already. It's been a tough week, so it was a particularly sweet moment. (I find that parenting him often feels like a cupcake of struggle with a layer of delectable love frosting on top, and that's what this week turned out to be.)
He also picked out cards for his birth mom and for the cousin who raised him for several years before he was taken away from her. Even though his birth mom isn't speaking to him, he called and read the card to her answering machine, and did the same for his cousin.
I'm honored to share Mother's Day with his other mothers. It's kind of like being part of a relay race, with T. as the precious baton. It's confusing and difficult sometimes to figure out where we fit in relation to his birth family and previous caregivers, but it's sweet and humbling too. His connection to each of them is part of the equation that explains why he's been able to attach to us as strongly as he has.
Happy Mother's Day to all of you "other mothers" out there who coax, compell, urge, tug, propell, carry, drive and persuade traumatized kids forward toward the finish line of childhood and beyond.