It's hard to believe that tomorrow will be my seventh year celebrating Mother's Day. Roslyn was only three months old that first year. She was the cutest little bundle in her pretty purple dress. I don't remember the second Mother's Day quite as vividly as the first, but I remember being pregnant with Natalie on my third.
It's my fourth Mother's Day that really stands out. It was in 2006 and was the one and only Mother's Day I got to spend with both of my daughters. Roslyn was 3 and Natalie was 9 1/2 months old. The Sunday before, Chris and I were reading the newspaper while the girls played. He asked me what I wanted for Mother's Day. I wasn't sure. I knew I didn't want any kitchen appliances or a box of chocolates. I wanted it to be something special that involved my children in some way. As I was flipping through the flier from Michael's (craft store), I noticed some mosaic stepping stone kits on sale. I thought, "that's what I want for Mother's Day, and I want it to have Roslyn and Natalie's hand prints in it." So off we went to the store to buy the kit.
On Mother's Day, we made the stepping stone. We mixed the cement and smoothed it out all ready for the girls to make their mark. Natalie, being the baby, went first. We pressed her little hand into the cement but she quickly grabbed it and mushed it leaving not a hand print but a big glob of cement. We had to try again... four more times. We laughed after each attempt. (She was just so cute!) Then finally, we decided to use her foot instead. We smoothed it out again and pressed her tiny foot into the cement. Success! A perfect little baby footprint. Roslyn went next and being a big girl, we only had to do one take for her footprint, too. We decorated around the footprints and marked it with the year, 2006.
We decided that making a new stepping stone each year would become our Mother's Day tradition. It would be a fun way to document their growth over the years, and have one-of-a-kind keepsakes to decorate our garden. I loved the idea. After Natalie died, I wasn't sure I wanted to keep doing the stepping stones, but we did -- in 2007 and in 2008.
Mother's Day is a painful day for me. I can't believe that this is the third one since she died. It breaks my heart all over again. As each one rolls around, it gets harder and harder to keep our stepping stone tradition going. This year, I find myself not wanting to really do much of anything at all. But I know I'll summon the energy from somewhere and we'll do it -- in honor of Natalie and Roslyn. Mother's Day is forever bittersweet, but I am eternally thankful for my two precious girls.