This time last year, unbeknownst to Zach and I, I had a little tiny H in my belly. This year, I had a 16 and a half week, 18ish pound baby to cuddle all day.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Zach for my 1st Mother’s Day – my dad and I had always made such a big deal of the whole weekend for my mom, but I know in some families the day is acknowledged but not ruled by the holiday. When we were living back East, we would rent my mom some outlandish convertible for the weekend and take her on a picnic. I would make her a coupon book full of argument enders, mother-daughter day dates, hugs and the like, and we always brought her breakfast in bed with an accompanying bouquet of flowers. My dad was always really great about making a big todo about the occasion, and she always got the whole weekend, not just one day. I was worried that because I was raised in a home where it was such a big event, whatever our plans were, they wouldn’t be big enough or I would be left feeling let down at the end of the day. I’m a little ashamed to admit that, and it sounds so much worse when I write it out, but it’s true. My dad set the bar pretty high, and made it pretty difficult for my future husband to compete with.
When I asked Zach about our plans, he was very mysterious about them – only telling me we would be eating whenever I decided to wake up for the day, and we would be going out to do something together as a family.
The whole weekend was pretty wonderful.
((We are making a big effort lately to be “screen-free” and spend more time together without our phones, and while we normally do “Wireless Wednesdays”, this was our first time attempting two days in a row, and I loved it!))
On Saturday I spent the morning cuddling with H while Zach went golfing, got together with some of my “Mommy Friends” for “Mommies & Martinis”, sans husbands and babies and tried the best we could to not talk about our aforementioned littles (which didn’t last long), and then met up with some of my old friends for a going away party for an old roommate who is going to fight wildfires this summer. It’s funny how the settings were the same for both events, both bars, but they felt so different – both were fun, and it was great to meet a few new mommy friends as well as connect with some of my old friends, but it so different. It was pretty refreshing to get out of the house (and almost felt a little like my old life pre-baby), but I missed my guys like crazy and made sure Zach texted me to keep me updated on how H was doing. H, of course, was totally fine and thankfully drank from a bottle like a champ! By the time I got home, I was exhausted. Socializing with adults kind of took it out of me, aaaand made me feel really old!
On Sunday, Zach was awesome. When H woke up, we brought him into our room like usual, I nursed him and we cuddled a little until we fell asleep while Zach was off elsewhere in the house. I woke up to a really yummy smell, and Zach and H coming into the room letting me know breakfast was ready if I was, and that H was hungry. I nursed H and went upstairs to my favorite breakfast – chocolate chip coconut pancakes and a salmon, spinach and feta frittata, with a mimosa already made! I was still pretty tired and H was ready for his nap, so we ended up both falling asleep again after breakfast. I again woke up to Zach and H coming into the room, but this time Zach quickly put H under the covers with me and stood there. I just thought he was being a weirdo (per usual), until I noticed one of my favorite sights out of the corner of my eye under the covers and on top of H’s belly – that telltale robin’s egg blue box! Zach and H had gotten me another charm to add to my bracelet – a simple silver heart with a big “H” engraved on it, to symbolize my first Mother’s Day.
Once I decided to join the world of the living and get dressed in real clothes, Zach gave me my second gift and the beginning of a new tradition – Marigolds ready to be planted. Zach explained that each Mother’s Day he and H would pick out a new flower and we would plant them in our garden so that I would have something to look at year after year. He explained that the Marigold flower represented passion and creativity and he thought that was pretty appropriate for my personality. I love that he is continuing traditions that he and his dad used to do for his mom (the charm bracelet), as well as putting thought into new traditions for our new family! ((Admittedly, I am having a really hard time deciding on the perfect place for them in the yard, so they haven’t been planted yet but I have until this weekend to make the final decision.))
We then walked around town with H for a few hours, doing nothing but spending time together, stopping in our local little stores, grabbing some fro-yo, and meandering around enjoying the beautiful (but incredibly windy) weather. We picked up some dessert at Whole Foods and while I put H down for another nap, Zach cooked another delicious meal of steak, asparagus and couscous!
It’s funny how once I let go of any expectations I may have had, I was able to soak in every moment of this new celebration of becoming and being a mother, and it ended up being a day full of wonderful moments. I realized it’s not about what we do, or where we go, but who I spend my day with. Becoming a mother has been one of the hardest and most gratifying experiences of my life. It’s both humbling and gratifying, time consuming and fleeting, frustrating and satisfying. I never knew I could be so selfless and have so much love to give. I was worried that once I had him, “just being a mom” wouldn’t be enough – but it is.
It’s more than enough, and more than that.