Why I Am Celebrating Mother’s Day Early This Year

Gus and Beth.

Gus and Beth

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 five or six), 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 in Psych Central wishing a happy Mother’s Day to special moms reassured me that I am not alone when it comes to feeling a bit of sadness on Mother’s Day. The article acknowledges that while parents raising a disabled or chronically ill child may have melancholy moments, they are often followed by a renewed commitment “that comes from love and hope and determination.”

Ever since that outburst of mine, we’ve gone out of our way to celebrate Mother’s Day. This year we’re even starting a week early. Tomorrow we’re heading to Wisconsin to spend the day with 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. After we kiss Gus goodbye, Gus’ dad and I plan on spending Saturday night in a nice hotel. So yes, we’re celebrating Mother’s Day this year, and we’re starting early. On May 5, a week before official Mother’s Day, I’ll be ordering room service. After all, breakfast in bed is a Mother’s Day tradition!


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