Today was a wonderful Mother's Day! It started with getting to sleep in because my hubby got up with Sweet Pea at 6am as he does most days (his love for me on top of unemployment make me a lucky mommy every day). Then I was awoken by the sweet smell of chocolate hazelnut pancakes made by my loving hubby and delivered by him and my oh so sweet baby girl. I ate them in bed while Sweet Pea gave me a few heart attacks trying to dive off the bed. My reflexes aren't as quick as I would like or apparently need them to be in the morning! I got to play with Sweet Pea and then go to brunch at my mom's house. Mama Bear and Papa Bear (Sweet Pea's great grandparents) were both there as well which made it extra special. Having four generations of women (or at least females as it's hard to think of Sweet Pea as a woman) is a very special thing. We actually all attended a luncheon together on Saturday and I need to get my hands on the 4 generation photo that was taken. It's the first one we have had since shortly after Sweet Pea was born.
Back to my perfect Mother's Day...after Mama Bear and Papa Bear left to head back up the mountain my mom and I sat around and talked and played with Sweet Pea for a while. Then it was back home for us and I walked into a house that had just been cleaned by that oh so wonderful hubby! He hadn't gone to brunch with us so that he could clean and it was so sweet of him! The house was in terrible shape from a few days of neglect and he really was my hero today! The three of us went to the park and played on the swings and slides and it was a great way to end a lovely day. I am a very loved mommy!
Warning: Emotional section following...
When I look back on how far I've come in the year since last Mother's Day, I am pleasantly surprised. Last year on this day I was in such a fog and was not in a good place emotionally at all. I couldn't even think of uttering the words, "Sweet Pea has Down syndrome" without tears streaming down my face. The fear of the unknown and the shattering of ours dreams of the perfect child was all too much for me. My mother in law was visiting us and it was a good distraction. I didn't feel elated or even happy to be a mother at that point. The fact that I felt that way made me feel even worse because I knew even then that Sweet Pea deserved a mother who loved her with all her heart and soul. However, knowing that and actually being able to do that were two very different things. I couldn't even look at Sweet Pea without seeing the typical DS characteristics. She wasn't Sweet Pea, she was DS and all the fear that came with that. I tried to be a good mother to her, but I knew that I couldn't be a great mother at that point at least. I have no idea what mom's with postpartum feel like, but I'm guessing it isn't too far off of how I was feeling. Looking back now I can see that I was really just functioning on auto pilot and trying to follow the unread textbook on how a mother should act. My husband, friends and family were all so supportive during that period!
I feel like I caused myself to miss out on the true joy that being a mother can bring, but I was just trying to survive at that point and I won't fault myself for that. What I will fault myself for is not coming out of that fog sooner. It's a journey and I apparently took the long and windy road, but I am loving the road now. I may still wish to be on another road, but I am able to enjoy the wonderful sights and smells on this road as it is obviously the one that I am going to stay on. I think the shock of what is happening to sweet Ella on top of Carly's death last month have hit me hard. I hate to even utter these words, but in the name of honesty I will...these two unspeakable events have done something good for me because they have caused me to realize how fragile life is and how absolutely precious these little girls of ours are. I can't tell you how many times I have hugged and kissed Sweet Pea when I am thinking of these other girls. I hug her so tightly and don't want to ever let go of her. I tell her again and again that she is never allowed to get sick just in case in this crazy world of ours she has any amount of control over it. This level of love that I feel for Sweet Pea is what I wish that I would have felt a year ago. It's not as much love as Sweet Pea deserves, but it's at least closer. The purity and joy that she brings to all the lives she touches is beyond words. Watching how she brings joy to random strangers faces is unbelievable. I pray that she will continue to do that until she is old and decrepit and just imagine how many lives she can touch by then! She is the other love of my life and I can finally say that I am so glad that she is my daughter!
Here are some photos from my wonderful day. I love my hubby and Sweet Pea for making me one VERY happy and proud mommy!