We didn't go to church today.
Scott is sick with pneumonia, I am continuing to fight sinus issues, Sveta is also medicated due to sinus issues, and so it goes. These seem like valid enough reasons to skip church, and I'm sure that's why my children think we didn't go.
And that's ok.
But there are deeper reasons.
Today is Mother's Day.
I love being a mom. I think I am doing a fairly good job. But a day doesn't pass that I am not aware that the only reason I am a mom is because someone else couldn't do it anymore. Death, illness, and worse are the contributing factors that lead to my motherhood.
All of my children had to lose everything for me to become a mom. I don't mean to say that I am the reason they lost those things. The truth is they lost nearly everything long before I became their mom, and if I never became their mom,almost all of the things they have lost would still be gone.
The final thing they had to lose for me to become a mom is their original identity.
In order for me to become a mom, they had to give up the final shreds of what made them them.
I contemplated taking all the healthy children to church and leaving the sickies at home. I thought of attending church by myself. Truthfully there is a lot of pressure to be a Heim at church on Mother's Day. We take up an entire row. We stand out. Everyone knows that I am the second mom. Everyone knows how blessed my children are and how fortunate they are to have me. As far as I can tell, no one considers what my children had to lose to receive that "blessing".
But I do.
So I did not ask my children to sit through what I am sure was a beautiful Mother's Day message. I LOVE the Mother's Day messages. I think many of my children cannot love them right now. I think that they are too conflicted to appreciate whatever the message is. The truth is most feel that they have been failed by their first mothers. I am not saying that she failed them. I am saying that this is how they feel. Imagine living with the constant feeling of betrayal by one mother and resentment that another one needs to exist. That second one is me. I needed to exist because someone else could not perform their role. It is impossible to parent if you are dead. It is impossible to parent if you have an out of control addiction. It is impossible to parent if you yourself have been marginalized, abused, and neglected. It doesn't matter that it may not be her fault that she can't mother, the fact remains that she is not being their mother.
This is the truth that my children live with.
They are not always doing it well.
How can they?
My destiny as their mother is to hold their hearts together even when they think they don't want me to. Even when they don't think I am. Even when it is JUST TOO HARD. for all of us.
We did not go to church today.
And Jesus is ok with it.
I am too.