I remember my first Mother’s Day so clearly. Harry was just 2 months old and I couldn’t quite believe that I was mum to this beautiful bundle of squidginess. Or that it was possible to feel so tired. But I felt full; my heart was full of love and pride for having carried and birthed my son into the world, my body was full of life as I nursed my big, hungry baby. Jamie brought me pancakes in bed and we stared adoringly at our perfect baba, safe and secure in the normality of it all. Typical baby, typical family, typical first Mother’s Day. I imagined all my Mother’s Days to come – the home made cards and gifts, flower poseys clutched in grubby little hands and ever deteriorating breakfasts as little people insist on helping.
And then my vision of perfected normality was gone…”Harry’s had a fall”…
It’s my second Mother’s Day and I wake up in dimly lit hospital room. We’ve been there for so many months now that a kind nurse has found a spare bed for me to sleep on, which is a huge upgrade after months of sleeping on a fold-out squeaky chair. I quickly and quietly shower and dress while H sleeps. I stand in front of the basin in his room and cautiously look in the mirror. I am empty; my body has withered as my clothes hang sadly off me, my eyes sit darkly and deeply within me, underlined by the months of fear, confusion and tears quietly shed where my brave son won’t see them.
I can’t picture the future, I don’t know how to and no one can tell me what it will look like. Various people wish me a Happy Mother’s Day, send me flowers, give me gifts and cards, tell me they love me and that I’m brave and strong. But all I want is a card from my H and for him to tell me that he loves me. Both things that I’m scared are no longer a part of our future.
This morning, 4 years later, I woke up at 7am, a luxury of an extra 2 hours of sleep, bliss! I can hear H squealing in the back room, it sounds like another episode of Little Ted’s Big Adventure has started. I later found out from J that he managed to open the TV cabinet (which we keep locked) and found the DVD. Too lazy to move I text J and immediately hear the coffee machine whirr into life. This day is off to a good start!
Another 5 minutes pass and in walk and shuffle my fuzzy-haired crew laden with coffee, breaky treats and an array of home made delights. The first words spoken are from H as he cuddles in next to me in bed…
Followed by T’s ‘hi mum”. Both equally special. Both feel like a miracle.
Last year, as I wrote in Harry says… (The Mother’s Day Edition), I found out that H was fishing for a pet bunny – nice try, buddy. This year, a few gems in his Mother’s Day card to me are:
She likes to drink babycinos
She likes to eat burgers
My mum and I like to go to Gogo’s house
I love her because of Tallulah
Today I will wear my home made necklace with pride and by the sounds of it will be drinking babycinos (hopefully with a few shots of something caffeinated hidden in there) and eating burgers! Sounds pretty good to me. Sounds like a perfect vision of our beautiful normal.
Today I will also be thinking of all the new special needs mum out there – the mums waking up in hospital rooms not knowing when you will be going home, the mums still reeling from receiving a phone call or diagnosis that has forever changed your world, the mums too scared to imagine a future Mother’s Day as you cling on with all you have just to get through today.
I don’t know what your future Mother’s Days will look like either, but I can tell you this:
There will be love, a love so bright and so consuming that your heart and your body will once again feel full.
You will wear home made necklaces with the pride of a Chanel original as you know the determination that went into getting each one of these beads onto that string.
Home made cards will have absolutely no colouring inside the lines and will be treasured like a Picasso knowing each one of those lines represents the beautiful skill of independent movement.
The words that you never thought you would hear will be said to you via a device, an eye-gaze system, a book, sign or speech. They will fill you with pride and remind you of your love, advocacy and encouragement.
Hold on tight, new mum, there is so much more to come…
Happy Mother’s Day to ALL the mums x
Image shows 3 Mother’s Day cards that have been brightly coloured by Harry and a necklace with beads on it, also made by Harry. Tallulah’s little hand is trying to get to the necklace which she has been trying to get from around my neck all morning.