Marisa Bardach Ramel is co-author of "The Goodbye Diaries: A Mother-Daughter Memoir," written with her mother Sally Bardach. She lives in Boulder, Colorado, with her husband and two children.
Dear motherless daughters,
If you're reading this, you already know life can throw some curveballs your way.
But every so often, life gives you a little gift.
For me, that gift is my daughter's birthday: May 10. Perhaps you're imagining spring, flowers and backyard barbecues. And, yes, it's all those things.
But it also happens to fall on or near Mother's Day.
I have to be honest, that first year, bleary from birth, I didn't get it. The best gift that year was being released from the hospital on Mother's Day so that I could spend it in bed, my baby girl sleeping on my chest.
The next year, my daughter turned 1, and -- confession -- I ignored her birthday and Mother's Day. The book I wrote with my own mother came out May 7 and all my attention was on that. (My book later won some awards, but I didn't exactly take home any for "Mom of the Year.")
Last year, my little girl turned 2 and for the first time, her birthday fell smack on Mother's Day. That Sunday, I woke up on Mother's Day without that familiar sense of dread. This time, the holiday wasn't about missing my mom and it didn't even have to be about celebrating me being a mom. It could be about her! Some might call it avoidance; I call it brilliance. We ate a half-melted coconut cake and life never tasted so sweet.
From that day on, I swore that I’d always share Mother’s Day with my daughter’s birthday.
This year, my little girl turns 3 the day after Mother’s Day, and who wants to celebrate on a Monday? I’m more than happy to share my Sunday with her. I look forward to Thomas balloons instead of roses, hot dogs instead of fancy brunch, a gift-wrapped sandbox instead of a jewelry box. I welcome the distraction, and yet, also the deepest reminder of what it means to be a mom.
My plan is to marvel at this little girl who I once was -- who I still am.
This Mother's Day, let's embrace it all. The little girls we once were. The lost girls we became. The big girls we are now.
Whatever your distraction, I hope it brings you joy.