Sunday, May 4, 2008

Great Expectations - On Mother's Day

As a kid I always got a kick out of Mother's Day. All that prep in school, alongside the high expectations of the big day, hoping my mom would beam at whatever little memento I had put together for her. Of course, she always did. Or, better yet, she always put on a great act. (hummmm....motherhood & acting would make a great post.)

Having struggled with infertility for over 12 years, you can pretty much guess that Mother's Day wasn't exactly my favourite celebration. In fact, I absolutely dreaded the day. Once we were hitting May, I'd get that sinking feeling in my heart. Oh no! The shop windows all anouncing to the world exactly what I was not: a mother! It was much worse than dealing with other people's pregnancies. For me, Mother's Day was a world conspiracy to remind me of what was lacking in my life. Needless to say that throughout those 12 years I had big hopes for this day. I think it got to the point where the main goal of my life was to fight infertility just to be able to be part of the gang on Mother's Day - those great expectations.

My mother, knowing how painful this day was for me, decided to abolish it completely from our lives. Have I ever mentioned what a wise mom I have. On that day we would have a belated birthday lunch for my husband and that's it. No gift giving, no cards, no flowers. It still hurt like hell, but a lot less than if I had gone through the motions.

Meanwhile, I became a mom myself and was all geared up to celebrate "The Day"! I still remember the butterflies in my tummy with antecipation of the joy of celebrating my first Mother's Day. My husband bought me the watch I'd been eyeing and I got the traditional bouquet of flowers. My little boy was just 10 months, so not a clue in the world what all the fuss was about. All day long I waited for the firework to go off, the magic to spark, the orchestra to play and...nothing. Absolutely nothing. That day I was let in on a secret: it was just a normal day like any other one. I cried myself to sleep that night. All those years dreaming & fantasising about Mother's Day and now that I had the whole deal, I was miserable. Much ado about nothing, as Shakespeare would put it.

Like my mom, I made a wise decision, and decided to abolish Mother's Day. My son gave me the beautiful gift he had made at school on Friday. He said to me after school, because he was so excited and just couldn't wait, "Mummy, Mother's Day can be any day, right? So why don't we do it today?". I thought "That's my boy". So, today we had a lovely belated b-day lunch for the old man and toasted to a midlife crisis on the way.

Just as many other things in life, I think the pain of infertility is pretty much about "Great Expectations".

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