The best thing about my first Mother’s Day is that I get to be a mommy to the sweetest little girl in the world. I feel so lucky to have her – to have this sacred privilege.
I had envisioned my first Mother’s Day to be a quiet, family only affair. I got to experience that for at least half the day…. I had told my husband that I didn’t want to go out for brunch, and I wanted to spend the day at home, relaxing with him and our daughter. He was excited about making brunch for me and spent at least a day planning the menu and gathering things he needed. As always, he went overboard, buying me 6 different bouquets of flowers (so sweet, I know) and spending four and a half hours making my brunch (did I mention what a slow cook he is?) Regardless, it was delicious and he put his heart and soul into it. I knew how much he wanted to make my first Mother’s Day special… which is partly why it hurts so much that my own mother successfully poisoned the last half of my special day.
It’s not the first time, but I keep hoping each time is the last. I stand at the end of a trail of ruined birthday parties, Christmases, graduations, and various special occasions that my mother has (intentionally?) brought to ruin. I should have known better, perhaps, but when it’s been a while I let my guard down. And that is always, always when she strikes.
It started earlier in the day when I called to wish her a happy Mother’s Day and she said, “Thank you,” which wasn’t immediately followed by “And Happy Mother’s Day to you, too!” In fact, those words never came. About five minutes into our conversation, she said, “This is your first Mother’s Day.” Yes… yes, I know… I clued into that fact, too. Still, no happy wishes for me, almost as if there was yet another invisible hurdle I had to pass to deserve that honor.
I knew then that there would be no card for me. No flowers. No gift. Nary an acknowledgment from Mommy Dearest.
She was supposed to come over at 3 pm, but called at 1:30 pm and said she wanted to come then. Surprisingly, and showing what might have been my only true insight of the day, I said she couldn’t come that early because we hadn’t had a chance to have our brunch yet. She was upset and nearly threatened not to come at all, but then thought better of it and said she’d be over after 3. Oh, how I wish she hadn’t come at all.
From the moment she showed up, she was complaining — about her life, her week, her day — how everything had been going badly for her and she’d been fighting with everyone from repair men to her loser boyfriend. There were a string of stories about her hanging up the phone on various people. Clearly, she hadn’t been getting along with anyone and I so desperately wanted to shout, “Can’t you see the problem is YOU?!” but I didn’t. I listened, even if half-heartedly, and tried to offer some solace.
I had gotten her a gorgeous card, written in it sweet nothings, and purchased a pewter frame with a flattering picture of her with my baby girl. She seemed to like it, but also noted that, “…it isn’t a Mother’s Day without flowers.” So, I told her she was welcome to take any of the flowers from my bouquets. That’s rich, isn’t it? She comes to my home empty-handed and complains about the gift I got her.
After nearly three hours of all this negativity (and me silently fuming that my first Mother’s Day wasn’t going to be acknowledged by her), something happened that was for me, the straw that broke the camel’s back. I had my daughter on my lap and she “fell” backwards onto my legs as she is prone to do. I’m used to it and I always “catch” her (since she lands basically right in my lap). Both my husband and my mom thought she was going to tumble to the ground and reached for her. My daughter, startled, started crying hysterically at the commotion. At least, I thought it was because she was startled… until I saw two bright red, deep scratches on her little cheek. My mother’s long fingernails had lacerated her face. Internally, I completely lost it. Externally, I was pissed off but biting my tongue.
The thing that upset me even more was that she didn’t really seem appropriately remorseful or apologetic. She said she hadn’t done it on purpose, that she thought my baby was going to fall. I know that’s true… but I don’t know… she just didn’t seem sorry enough! Finally, I said to her, “See? Your negativity affects other people.” I know I shouldn’t have said it. I know that I was really upset about a lot of other things I’d been repressing, but hey, it came out how it came out. And I meant it. She got very upset and immediately grabbed her things to go. My husband tried to get her to stay (I don’t think he’d heard what I said at that point). I said, “don’t forget your gift,” and handed her her things and she said, “But I still want my flower!” And she grabbed a red rose from the vase on the dinner table and fled our home.
So, this afternoon, she calls me and says, “So, are you ready to apologize to me?” I laughed — because it genuinely caught me off guard. I said, “No, I don’t think so.” She tried to start arguing with me, but I said I was feeding my baby and didn’t want to talk right then. She informed me that she would be coming over to my house tomorrow. I told her I wasn’t ready to see her yet. She said, “You can’t keep my granddaughter away from me!” I explained that I wasn’t doing anything of the sort. “I’m coming over whether you like it or not!” she threatened. “That’s not how this works!” I said, feeling my anger rising. Then she said, “I’m coming over whether you like it or not, and if you don’t like it, you can call the police!”
I’m still in shock.
What. A. Fucking. Psycho.
I’m not sure what I’ll do if she really shows up and tries to bully her way into my home. The one thing I do know is that she no longer has the key. I called a locksmith as soon as I hung up the phone with her and our front door lock has already been changed. That was certainly $257 that I didn’t want to spend right now, but my peace of mind is worth so much more.