The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Better Late Than Never

It was Friday before Mother’s Day, and I had 30 minutes to find a card, write a note, buy postage, and drop it in the mail. How did this always happen? Being a mother and forgetting your own on our “special day” was like forgetting your twin’s birthday.

I was in the drugstore, scouting the cards by cover, gravitating to the humor section, as usual, when I noticed a black & white message in the sentimental section and picked it up. “Mom, you’ve always been there for me,” it said. I grabbed another: “You always knew just what to say.”

These Hallmark versions described a mother I didn’t have and hadn’t missed until my daughter was born -- a mother who greeted me after school with homemade treats and a hug and questions about my day; a mother who doted on her grandchildren. When my daughter was born, the stark contrast between what I felt as a mother and what I saw in my own mother’s eyes awakened a loss I’d never acknowledged.

But the loss I felt wasn’t for me; it was for her.

I’d shrugged off Mom’s forgetfulness over our birthdays and stopped taking it personally that she and Dad didn’t visit more often. She thought we lived too much for the kids; that our schedules were too intensely wrapped around soccer and Little League and dance troupe. Mom and I talked regularly – monthly -- avoiding politics in favor of food: new discoveries in salmon or Dad’s barbeque conquests.

Standing in the aisle, I felt the heat rise to my eyes, shocked at the ferocity of emotions that didn’t have the decency to wait until I was alone. I was almost out the store’s back door when I noticed I was still holding a card. The familiar face behind the checkout counter reached over to scan it, and I handed her a five, stifling my sniffle.

Inside the car, I pulled my purchase out of the brown paper bag: “For my best friend.” I couldn’t send this; she’d know it wasn’t true. I’d buy another card tomorrow, after soccer. It wouldn’t arrive by Sunday, but I figured sincerity was better late than never.

By Kimberley Kwok

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