This year on Mother's Day, my third one, I didn't get a single photo of myself with the child who made me a mother. I was too busy eating the husband-made breakfast, buying a pair of tevas, tinkering with the couple hundred photos I recently took, running all by myself, and talking with two friends at a happy hour which turned into four very happy hours.
At the end of the day, after telling Abe goodnight and starting a movie, I suddenly felt sad about not getting a photo with him. I felt like my day had been too indulgent. I felt spoiled. When I went into Abe's room for my nightly check of him before I go to bed, I noticed he was really hot. I picked him up, took his temperature, found that it was 102. I gave him something to bring the fever down and put him beside me in the bed. He just whimpered. I asked if he wanted me to hold him. He did. So I put him on my chest, and he quickly fell asleep. I'm sad he was sick, but as a mother, is there any feeling more delicious than the weight of a feverish child on your chest?
Abe eventually woke back up and wanted his bed. Like his mother, he sleeps best in his own little nest. He wanted me to stay with him though. So I curled up beside him in his short toddler bed and tried to sleep. It didn't happen. I'd hear the rhythm of his breathing slowing down, and thinking sleep had come, I'd try to sneak away back to my own bed. But his little face would whip around to find me, to make sure I was there. He put his hand on my shoulder, and in that darkness of his warm room, laying next to a small boy with a fever in the middle of the night, curled in a fetal position on a small toddler bed, knowing that tomorrow would mean fatigue from the lack of sleep, I simply settled back in, led by that small hand on my shoulder willing me to stay. In that warm darkness, it felt almost like a womb. And I felt thankful. And connected. This memory is my photograph of Mother's Day 2010.