I spent Mother’s Day last year with the ex and his 6 children.
I didn’t think it appropriate to post photos of the children,
so here is a picture one of them drew of me last year, pregnant with S.
He hadn’t got a card for his mother, so I sat with his son and we made one. Then they got some eggs from the chickens, and one of the older kids took them round to her.
The two youngest girls had made Mother’s Day gifts to give to their older (10-year-old) sister, because to all intents and purposes, she is their mother.
As is usual for a Sunday, we didn’t do much through the day. In the afternoon we decided to cook a big roast dinner, and invite the babysitter and her boyfriend over. We prepared vegetables and the ex cooked it all. The babysitter showed me a video of two of the children wrestling on the kitchen floor, that she’d taken when she’d been there in the week – the ex had gotten hideously drunk with her boyfriend, and the kids had been up late, play-fighting.
There were just enough plates for all 10 of us, but not enough cutlery. There was one knife between the 4 adults, and most of the kids ate with spoons. The kids ate in the living room, whilst watching a dvd. The adults cleared space on the kitchen table and ate there.
After dinner the ex’s youngest child, a beautiful 4-year-old girl who hadn’t seen her own mother since she was 2, came out to the kitchen and told me she wished I were her mother. I tried not to let her see me getting all emotional, and blamed the pregnancy hormones. It broke my heart though; a few days previously she had come into the bedroom and lay down next to her dad, saying “I used to have a mum once, didn’t I? And she did love me, didn’t she?”
Before bed time, I sat with some of the children and did some school work. With the youngest, we had a sheet of paper with a letter in the middle, and we thought of all the words we could that began with that letter. I think we were up to F or G by that point, and it was proving tricky. She did quite well though, and we wrote them out together. The older children did Maths problems I think. The oldest girl did one of those 11+ practise papers you get in those books. I remember sitting with her and going through the answers for the English questions.
This Mother’s Day… it’s been almost a year since I saw those children. I miss them like mad, all the time. I wonder what they’re up to, whether their lives are any more settled and less chaotic. I know their lives are worse than when I was there though, and that there’s nothing I can do about it.
But I can’t be sad; I have my little girl, and she is perfect. She is celebrating Mother’s Day by banging my mobile phone on the floor and shouting at the TV.
This is not how I thought my first ever Mother’s Day would be… I’m a bit surprised at the way it’s made me think about last year, and about the children I try so hard not to think about. But I’m happy as I am. We’re both happy.
Happy Mothers Day.
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