I had a lovely Mother’s Day.

Mike and Annie brought me presents, my family came over, we had a yummy meal, we went for a walk. I heard, “I love you, Mama” lots.

mother's day 2012

But I was sad. I was sad and I couldn’t shake it. Earlier I’d looked at Facebook and Instagram, and I’d seen dozens of pictures of gifts my friends had received from their children. Presents their kids had picked out themselves, or even better, crafted and created. And I was so jealous.

Annie is too young to do that stuff. But Maddie wouldn’t have been. She’d be four and a half, plenty old enough to string together a beaded bracelet, or to draw a picture of the two of us, or to paste something together with a glue stick and glitter.

Most days I have no problem looking at what other people have – it almost always makes me smile. But on the harder days, like Mother’s Day, it’s just salt in the wound. I should know better than to look. I shouldn’t ask. But then there’s the other part of me that can’t resist, so I can imagine what I could be experiencing, too. I can’t help myself.

I know next year Annie will start putting together special things for me. I honestly can’t wait. I can’t imagine a better present than something made just for me, by my daughter. Each crayon stroke and glitter speck will be a little window into the way her mind works.

I really did have a lovely Mother’s Day. I feel guilty for feeling so sad. My happiness with Annie is so completely separate from my sadness and longing for Madeline. One cannot touch the other. But still, I feel guilty. And I’m just…glad it’s over.