Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My New Favorite Holiday

It has been my experience that time doesn't necessarily heal all wounds, but combined with proper care, time allows most wounds to at least scab over so you don't walk around metaphorically bleeding all over the place and freaking out potential companions.

It was three days after my 13th birthday when I lost my mother. In the nearly seventeen years that have passed since, I have become increasingly comfortable with the void it left. This is probably due to a combination of factors; emotional maturity, editorial distance, and the unrelenting speed of life. You never get over the loss of a parent, but you get used to it.

Mother's Day has been the one black hole in the healing process. Birthdays and Christmases get easier, but Mother's Day always sucks when your Mother is dead. It would take something monumental to change that, wouldn't it?

Gabe's birth was the most emotional day of my life. I was all over the map - joyful, nervous, hopeful, terrified - it may be the closest I'll ever come to knowing what it feels like to give a shit about a Kardashian's love life. The second I laid eyes on my son, I finally understood my parents emotional investment in me. At no point over the course of the most reflective day of my life, did I feel sadness over my mother not being there. I was too busy feeling grateful for the people that stuck with me through the tough times and got me to this amazing day. Gabe's mother was the only mother on my mind.

When I asked Summer what she wanted to do for her first Mother's Day, the answer came without hesitation. She wanted to go fishing. Pack the fishing gear and our one month old into the car, drive to a lake, battle the Texas elements, AND reveal my complete lack of fishing acumen?  Are you sure you wouldn't rather have a girls day while I assume the burden of staying home with the baby and watching baseball? Nope. Off to the lake we went.

It's important to note that despite growing up on a farm in rural Iowa, I am the single worst fisherman in the United States of America. I don't know how to string a reel (or whatever the hell that process is called) and I'm not crazy about touching fish. What I am, however, is wildly efficient. Once my wife prepared a reel for me, and I messed it up, and she gave me another while she attempted to unwind the reel I jacked up, I promptly caught the biggest fish of the day and spent the rest of the day hanging out with my son.

It wasn't just my favorite Mother's Day in the last 16 years, it was the best, most fulfilling holiday I've ever experienced. That's a monumental change I can get used to.

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