‘You’re the best mother I’ve ever had‘

This is a guest blog written by an adoptive mother. I hardly know her family but can identify with everything she says.

That was the first time my son had really acknowledged that I am his mother and that finally he was happy about it.

A cup of tea, with a saucer, and biscuits, is a cause for celebration in itself.

I am his fourth mother. He had experience of other mothers, and he had really loved his foster mother, so I knew that he definitely meant what he said. He’s also brutally honest about things like that so I had a low key celebration. Probably another cup of tea as celebrations need to be muted in our household.

Mothers’ Day, birthdays, Christmas have been muted days for us for years and mostly we haven’t celebrated them.

Trauma doesn’t like change, trauma doesn’t like new, trauma doesn’t like excitement and trauma doesn’t like Christmas.

But there’s no real avoiding Christmas as the world in general, even our own families, don’t stop all the hype for these events. Our best Christmas ever was the one where our son had missed a couple of days on his Advent calendar and we didn’t correct him as he was young enough not to work it out. He didn’t realise when Christmas was coming up the next day. He slept well, we slept well and we had a lovely day. The year before he had been up at 2am and it had been a disaster.

And birthdays. Our son found Happy Birthday, the song, deeply traumatising. And at primary school they would sing Happy Birthday most assemblies as there was always a child with a birthday.

Each school day started with a traumatising event and we kept banging our heads against a brick wall trying to explain that to the teachers.

It also made birthday parties a complete nightmare.

Birthday parties in the 1970s were training grounds for polite society.
Sitting nicely, waiting your turn, saying your please and thank yous and other forms of social conformity were all taught and expected.

And Mothers’ Day. Well after years of avoiding even mentioning it, I have had a card for the last two years. The first one unsigned and last year he signed it and gave me a present his girlfriend’s mother gave him to give to me from her present cupboard!

This year we are going to the local pub for a drink and a meal on the Friday evening just to hang out together. I can’t think of a better Mothers’ Day gift.