I have been neglecting this blog, as I have been away and then once returned home, totally wiped out exhausted and behind on everything. There are so many blogs here that I wonder at times if I should continue to write them but something always appears that should be shared in this space. Today that something is by LINK>Tony Corsentino, an adoptee with his own Substack blog, from which I will borrow today as I try to get back into my normal routines (which are rarely normal anyway LOL). My blog title is his. His Substack is titled LINK>This Is Not A Legal Record.
He writes – “Mother’s Day is an occasion for breakfast in bed, a vase of flowers, brunch with mimosas. It is also an occasion to teach and reinforce a doctrine. It celebrates mothers who mother.” I remember when my sisters and I were children and we did the breakfast in bed for my own mother.
He shares many common expressions related to Mother’s Day but notes – “Cute, trite, sweet, banal, inoffensive—and no space for severed motherhood.” He goes on to note – “I asked my birth mother if she found my birthday a difficult date on the calendar. She replied that the date had become blurred in her memory. For her, the worst date on the calendar was Mother’s Day. It is an annual reminder to the severed mothers that they are the ones who were not there and therefore do not count.” Sadly, I can relate. I allowed my daughter to be raised by her father at the age of 3 because he was never going to pay me child support (and had told me so) but I could not financially, adequately, support us. So, he provided for her because he had to and no doubt he was happy to have her with him. However, when I would look for commercial birthday cards for my daughter, they never reflected what seemed to me the strange kind of relationship I had with her as an absentee mother.
Tony says – “Mother’s Day is a call for gratitude. Where gratitude is merited (not all mothers merit it), it is fitting to bestow it. But adopted people hear the call for gratitude differently. When I question why I am to call one woman ‘mother’ and not another, when I question why I was not even permitted to know the one I am not to call ‘mother’, I receive a question in return: Aren’t you grateful?”
“Thousands of women in this country have had their children disappeared, under a system that receives nearly universal praise—with a long waiting list of hopeful participants. Thousands of other women in this country have acquired the right, through this system, to the word ‘mother’ and, if they mothered well, to the expectation of cards, flowers, and morning cocktails this weekend.”
“Mother’s Day picks a side. To those severed from their children, it says ‘this is not your day.’ ”
In my case, learning about my adoptee parents (both were adopted children) genetic origins also made me aware of the minor miracle of my own childhood. Tony shares this funny greeting – “I’m so grateful you never put me up for adoption, though I’m sure there were times you were seriously tempted! Happy Mother’s Day!” I AM grateful that I was not put up for adoption because it is a wonder that my unwed, high school student, mother was not forced to do that to me. Thankfully, my dad left his university studies to marry her and support our family.