Mother’s Day has been a difficult day for me since I started teaching. In the past ten years, I have had two late stage miscarriages and a premature baby.┬áThe first loss occurred in college. The second one happened quietly over summer break. I had been teaching for two years by then. My belly started to ripen while school was in session. The kids knew that Morgan was slated to be born in November. Imagine their surprise when they showed up for school and she was gone. Of course they asked what happened. I gave them a short answer. “I lost the baby.” I didn’t tell them that all of a sudden she just stopped moving and that I thought she was just getting bigger and had less room to move. I didn’t mention the panic I felt when I drank a soda and she didn’t do her usual percussion solo against my bladder. They were just children. Even though kids are smarter than adults could ever be, I didn’t trust them with such delicate information. Maybe it was myself I didn’t trust. Either way, with each “Awwww man, or “Danggggg miss,” I was given a hug or a hand squeeze. I knew they could tell I was in pain. I was wearing the mask that Dunbar talks about in order to make it from one day to the next.

What happened next I could not prepare for. The following year, the kids were wishing me a Happy Mother’s Day. Those that had graduated were sending me text messages issuing me the sentiment. Some bought me gifts. What do you say to that? I said thank you, of course. Truthfully, I was bewildered. I was not a mother. Sure, I was nurturing to them, and I had half-carried two babies, but my body wouldn’t follow through. I never had a chance to wipe my brow with exasperation and exclaim how tired I was. To be frank, almost doesn’t count. Or does it?

This year, things are different. My son is next to me in bed. He is sleeping. Today was long. Lots of new faces. Too much milk. A beautiful white suit. Shoes! Love.

I’m so blessed to be a mother. His mother. Their mother?