It feels a bit like musical chairs at a birthday party.
All the kids run and squeal and when the music stops they plonk down on a chair and hold the seat of it with both hands, joy and pride clear on their safe little faces.
And the one kid who misses out smiles weakly and then has to stand to the side, pretending to look like it’s still a fun party.
That’s what Mother’s Day feels like.
And I’m that kid.
And I just wish I got to feel what the other kids felt.
Some adults at the birthday party might try to make the sad kid feel better by telling them it’s just a game.
Some might growl at the crying kid and tell them to get over it, it’s supposed to be fun, you’re lucky to even be invited and if you don’t stop that nonsense I’ll take you home right now.
Some might even tell the kid standing on their own to be happy for the other kids.
He wraps both his arms tight around me and holds me upright until my racking body has stilled and I can speak again. He know that there is nothing that he can say that will make me feel better, and possibly something that would make me feel worse. He acknowledges right where I’m at and just sits with me there.
And then it passes. That wave of grief has broken. And the energy in the swash fuels me to hug him back, thank him and run back to the house from the fuel tank where I found him, grateful that I got invited to the party in the first place, happy for the other kids on the chairs, and excited to be a mother to our girls on Mother’s Day.