Mother’s Day for special moms

For years after our son Gus was born, I begged my husband Mike not to get me a gift for Mother’s Day. “I’m not your mother!” I told him.

Our son Gus has severe mental and physical disabilities — he doesn’t understand what Mother’s Day is. Gus wouldn’t be making me a card. He wouldn’t be presenting me with dandelions picked especially for me. I knew that. But I was determined not to let any of that bother me. I knew I was a good mother, and I knew my son loved me in his own special way.

And then one year – Gus must have been 5 or 6 — I burst into tears on Mother’s Day. “I’ll never get to celebrate like all the other mothers do!” I wailed. Poor Mike didn’t know what to do.

This article on parental grief and adjustment to a child with disabilities reassures me I am not alone when it comes to feeling a bit of sadness on Mother’s Day. The article lists Mother’s Day as one of the “common occasions of stress for families of a child with a disability.”

Ever since that outburst of mine, we’ve gone out of our way to celebrate Mother’s Day. This Saturday we’re heading to Wisconsin to visit our grown son in his group home. We’re proud of Gus. I’m proud to be his mom and happy to celebrate as a family. Gus’ dad and I plan on spending Saturday night in a nice hotel. Sunday morning? We’ll order room service, and I’ll celebrate like so many other moms do — enjoying breakfast in bed!

I’d love to hear how other special moms have come to terms with Mother’s Day and how other families with special children celebrate each year.


 

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