I cannot believe he has been in our lives for two whole years. I should be able to spew some poignant tribute to his wonderous persona. I’m sorry to be failing you in that respect. I simply can’t come up with the words. This past weekend was too much of an emotional roller coaster for me.
It all started with a trip to take the boys to see John’s parents. We haven’t been able to make the trip since Thanksgiving. That alone was enough to induce tears when John’s mom quietly whispered, in a resigned tone, that Zachy just didn’t know her. I felt guilty for keeping the boys from her, though I cannot help it. I gave living down there a try and it just did not work. This is where work and school are. We have a life up here that we simply did not have down there. And then it was Sunday.
Also? It was Mother’s Day.
We were so busy traveling the four-hour trip, packing and unpacking the brightly-wrapped and be-ribboned packages fro the car, keeping the boys from tearing up Grandma’s house, well, that I completely forgot. It was May 13th. It was Mother’s Day Weekend. And I completely forgot thatt it was also the day after May 12th.
I forgot Mom’s Birthday. I didn’t take a second to stop and honor her memory, and then I felt even more guilt. For each year since her death, May 12th has been horrendous. Depressing and sad as I wallow in missing my Mom. And I have hated Mother’s Day for the same reason.
I forgot this year. I was wrapped up in Zachary, subconsciously procrastinating the memory of the Motherless Daughter. And as I saw the mother-daughter pairs at Zachy’s birthday party later in the day, I started to cry. And then the thought of my littlest baby growing up…I actually had to remove myself for a few minutes to get myself together. When I emerged, only John, who knows me best, could tell I had been crying. He is also the only one who would not have to ask why.
So I put on my smile: the smile of a mom. The smile of a host. It started out so …fake. Then it was time.
Dimmed lights. The flicker of a “2” candle. Happy Birthday, Dear Zachary. And I watched my honey-blomde angel relish his homemade red velvet birthday cake, made from scratch by his other Grandma–the one who is still living. I giggled as he squished handfuls into his face. I laughed out loud when we looked at the cake and icing goo between his fingers, exclaiming, “Ewwwwww!”,as he reached out and wiped them on me. We laughed some more when he threw a fit to go outside afterward, and we all chipped in to move his mountain of presents outside to make him happy. And I stood over him, taking photos at the top of his beautiful little head as he opened his gifts that were hand-picked by so many who love him.
For so many years, I have missed my mother while loathing this time of year. And Zachary was born this time of year, over six weeks before his due date. He came into the world in a manner that seemed so serendipitous, but now more than ever, I am questioning that. As a mom, I know that a mother will do anything in her power to ensure her children are taken care of. Does that translate to the beyond as well? Did my mother fix this time of year for me by sending a surprise little boy who looks just like her?
So that night, as Zach went to sleep, I watched over him. My mind flashed back on the little moments that have made up the time since his last birthday. On the day I found out I was pregnant with him. Evan made me love life. And then I got caught up in goals and plans and obligations. Then someone sent me Zachary. I was reminded of the beauty and wonder in the world and of what really, truly mattered in life. And I remembered how to laugh and smile again. There weren’t many who could have done that. John. Evan. Now Zach. And my Mom could’ve. Only them.
I’m not sure what else I have to say here. Not sure how to explain. I know I am failing mmiserably, like I said. So I am going to just stop here after I say one more thing.
I love you, Zachy. I love you, Mom. Happy Birthday to both of you.