Monday, May 12, 2008

I Can See Clearly Now

Last year on Mother's Day I thought about her. I thought about her as I had every Mother's Day for several years. One day, I thought, I will not just be celebrating, I will be celebrated. I'll be the one getting cards and flowers and delicious boxes of chocolate. I thought about it in a hypothetical, one-day-in-the-future kind of way. I had no idea that it would happen the very next year. That in a matter of days my baby would be a secret buried deep inside my body.

To say that Anabella wasn't planned wouldn't be exactly true, because although she wasn't planned at that moment, she was always a plan in my mind. Sure, I thought she'd be a boy and I thought our lives would be a little different when she arrived. I pictured a house with a backyard and discussion with my husband that went something like, "It's time now. We're ready. Let's make one." Heh.

But since the first day that I discovered our secret, that I learned our tiny new person was on her way, I have said and still say that the best things in life are not planned. Nothing is more beautiful, more exciting, more memorable than a true surprise. And a true surprise she was.

Last year on Mother's Day I still believed that the cards and the flowers and the chocolates were the best part. I pictured brunch in bed or a sunny lunch on a patio with the family. I had visions of homemade gifts crafted with macaroni noodles and glitter placed proudly on the fridge and a large bouquet of mixed spring flowers picked up last minute by a doting husband and dedicated father.

How could I possibly understand that the best part of my first Mother's Day would be staring at my chubby baby girl while she lay on her change table covered in poop and grinning at me with her flashing blue eyes and bubbling laugh? How could I have ever imagined that giving her a bath in the middle of the day and watching her eyes widen as a stray splash landed on her nose would be all it took to make this the happiest day imaginable?

I have always understood the importance of Mother's Day from my own point of view, as a daughter. My mother is amazing and deserves a day to be celebrated for all that she has done, and still does, for my sister and I. But I never understood the importance of Mother's Day from the point of view of a Mother until now. So at the risk of sounding trite or cliche, I have to say that being a Mother to my baby girl is an absolute privilege. Being Anabella's mom is an honour worth celebrating.

I did get to sleep in on my first Mother's Day and I did receive a wonderful gift from my doting husband and Bella's dedicated father. But really the only thing that mattered on this special day had not much to do with me at all. It's all about her. It's all about this little girl that I imagined and dreamed about for so many years. My daughter, my heart. Because she makes every day worthy of brunch in bed.

Happy Mother's Day to my mom and all amazing moms that I love. And thank you for all that you do and all that you have done. I get it now. I really get it.