Today you will see a lot of people writing about their moms and sharing photos. I won’t be. My mom was great and I love her very much. But I won’t be talking about her here. Not much anyways.
You will also see a lot of people writing about being moms, the joys and trials of being the working mom, the stay-at-home mom, the mompreanor, the single mom, the step-mom, etc. I love being a mom, and I love having a day where everyone in the house pampers me, but I’m not talking about that here either.
I want to talk about a little girl I know. She’s a foster child living with a relative of mine and for the sake of this article I will call my relative Maria and this little girl Karen (yes, I am drastically changing their names for privacy. CFS is very strict about that).
Karen is a sweet little girl, just turned 6. She has been with Maria since just before her 2nd birthday. She currently sees her mother once per month. Karen has a plastic shopping bag hanging on the back of the spare kitchen chair. She puts artwork and examples of school work and crafts in that bag all month and then takes the bag to her mom on visit day.
Karen happens to be in the same class as my son so I know what she made her mom in school – it is a plaster cast of her hand on a little board. It’s very sweet. They were also making God’s Eyes in school (if you don’t know what these are look here: http://www.auntannie.com/FridayFun/GodsEye/) and Karen made hers for her mom. Another child took it and she didn’t have time to finish her second one.
When Maria picked Karen up from school on Thursday (Friday was an inservice) the little girl was bawling.
It’s a craft. One she can finish at home. But that’s not the point.
The class has spent all week making crafts for mom, talking about mothers, talking about family … and all of this leaves Karen feeling very raw and very hurt because she won’t see her mom for Mother’s Day. She doesn’t live with her mom, she hardly sees her mom, and yes, she loves Maria but it’s not the same.
Families aren’t simple anymore. Some kids have no mom, some kids have two (whether it is a homosexual couple or that they have a mom and a step-mom), some kids are raised by grandma, some kids are in the system. I think schools need to be sensitive to that. I think they need to let kids make two crafts when needed, so mom and step-mom can both have a present, so mom and foster-mom can both be recognized. I think they need to talk about not having a mom, or not being able to live with mom. They need to acknowledge these kids.
Mother’s Day is very important. It reminds grown-ups to call their mothers. It reminds us that family is important. It gives us a day to think about mothers who have passed on. It gives mothers a day to be pampered with plaster hand prints and paper flowers.
But Mother’s Day can be very painful too. I have a friend who lost her mother maybe 6 or 8 weeks ago. The grief is still very raw. I hope she has a beautiful day surrounded by family so she can share her memories, be pampered by her children, and get through that “First Mother’s Day Without Mom”.
And I hope that Karen has a wonderful visit with her mom later this month.