My first Mother's Day was May 2009 - Ayden had just been born and was only a few weeks old. Needless to say, I was in heaven! Having a healthy, sweet, perfect baby boy to share my first Mother's day with was the cherry on top of the perfect little life we were living. Ayden taught me so much about being a mother....in 4 short months....he taught me so much. The connection between mother and child is indescribable. I remember the moments Ayden and I shared...just me and him...when I would get lost in those moments...almost like we were one person existing together. That's the best way I can describe it. Being a first-time mother is very different than subsequent children. The connection is still there, and it is still strong, but doing it all for the first time....feeling it all for the first time...it's amazing. I knew what he needed; I knew how to soothe him, comfort him, make him feel safe, and I knew how to make him smile, laugh, and coo away. That first Mother's Day was so, so special, and I'm so thankful that I got to spend it with Ayden.
Me, my mom, and Ayden - Mother's Day 2009
May 2010 - My second Mother's Day. Last year was a hard year...to say the least. Ever holiday was our first without Ayden. This was my first Mother's Day without him. It seemed so cruel to face a holiday meant for mothers when my child wasn't there to share it with me. I found comfort at that time in my pregnancy with Collen. I was 5 months pregnant with him, and feeling every kick and jab was a happy reminder of the joy to come....a reminder that I was still a mother. I was a mother to a beautiful baby boy and his little brother on the way. Still, it was difficult to face that day without Ayden, but I spent that time so thankful for him and the joy he brought to my life as a mother. Ayden changed me in so many ways. Losing him changed me in many more ways. In his life and his death, he has taught me so much. Last Mother's Day was a time of reflecting on it all...the good, the bad, what was to come....and trying to see goodness beyond the grief and the tears.
May 8, 2011 - My third Mother's Day. This year, Mother's Day was definitely bittersweet, but it was so much better than last year....emotions-wise. This was my first (technically second) with Collen, and boy did he make it such a great day. I spent a lot of the day (amidst the rushing around and visiting with family) reflecting on the past three years and how thankful I am that God blessed me with my two boys. Mother's Day will always bring with it a sting of pain...as most holidays do. I look at pictures of me and Collen, especially our Mother's Day picture, and I always see the little boy who should also be there....the big brother whose blue eyes should be shining back in those pictures.
But then I wonder....would his little brother be with us if God's plan had not been carried out. Very complicated to think about. I try not to ponder it too much, but it's a reality we can't deny.....
I feel a lot of guilt at times when the happy days far outweigh the sad ones. When I get so caught up in our present and how happy we are again.....that I don't break into tears when I think of Ayden. But I think that has a lot to do with time....and understanding the loss and working through the grief....and living in hope rather than dwelling on the loss. There are still hard days, plenty of them, and I know the guilt is more of my own doing than being true to what should be.
Who knows what next Mother's Day will bring. I look forward to sharing many, many more with Collen...telling him all about his brother and the day he made me a mother for the first time. Telling him about everything his brother taught me about being a mommy...so he can understand why I love then both so, so much.