My Mother's Day was a quiet one. The husband is almost never home on holiday's because of his line of work, so it is usually just me and the kids. They waited patiently (read walked by my bedroom door about a million times shhshhing each other with "she's still sleeping" and running down the hallway) for me to wake up. Finally, as soon as one of them caught me with my eyes open they jumped on my bed and showered me with the homemade cards and carefully crafted flower vase filled with beautiful tissue paper blooms, my favorite kind, as they will never fade away and die.
After the gift extravaganza, we all went downstairs and my daughter said to me, "I know you are going to make us something really special for breakfast because it's MOTHER'S DAY!!" And so I did.
When the husband finally got home, we all headed over to my mom's house to celebrate her. Driving over as I was sitting in the car looking out the window at the familiar sights, my old high school, an old friends street, I suddenly had this panicked feeling in my chest. It was the feeling I get, maybe you know it too, when I am having the dream where I am supposed to be graduating from college and I am told at the last moment that I didn't take this one required course so I will not be allowed to graduate or the one where I fail the big career test( a medical board, the Bar exam, the CPA one, those career tests, I won't say which one I took:)) and I am told I can't take it again for some quirky only in dreams reason, and I am filled with dread, with panic, how am I going to fix this, how can this be happening, and in my dream I start breathing hard, hyperventilating, everything is moving in fast forward and I can do nothing to change it. I have left something out and as much as I want to go back and do it right, I can't. I wake up terrified until I come fully aware that, yep, I had the 'you screwed up your life again', dream and then I can go back to sleep.
That's the feeling I got in the car. The panic. I started thinking in my head, "What?, What is it?, What have I forgotten?" I mentally ran through my list of things I was supposed to bring to my mom's, snacks, presents, cards, and then I realized, FUCK, I had forgotten one of my kids. Jesus H. Christ, I had left one of the kids at home. Holy Shit.
My eyes filled with tears and I took in a sharp breath getting ready to scream to my husband to stop the car but when I looked in the back seat, there were C & C, my two kids sitting and laughing. It was then that it hit me. The child I had left behind, the one I had forgotten, was Caleb. My baby was not with me on Mother's Day and as much as I had tried to block it out, my heart would not let me.
I sat back in the seat and wiped the tears from my eyes. I took deep breaths to try and calm myself. I recovered enough and was able to continue on to my mom's with no one the wiser to my panic attack on the way over.
And so my Mother's Day gift to myself is the knowledge that at any given moment, I can and most likely will be hit with the overwhelming weight of the fact that for the rest of my life, there will always be something missing.
I miss you Caleb, more than even I know.