I celebrated my mom's birthday today. She would have been 68. Would have been. I can easily can stuck in this detail. Her absence is felt daily, even more so since Bean. I feel like I'm an entirely different person now and I wish that I had the opportunity to pester my mom with questions about milestones, toddler feedings and the virtual nine zillion other things I worry about daily since becoming a mom. But I don't have a mom. I have Google and that really isn't the same thing.
On this particular day I found myself alone with Bean. My plans for the day fell through and I had absolutely nothing pressing (unless you count the 16 loads of laundry, which I didn't). I was laying on the floor building blocks and Bean had such a grin on her face that I pulled her close to me and kissed her. She didn't squirm away or try to wiggle out of my embrace, but she kind of leaned in and laughed. In that moment, I thought that my mom had held me once like this too. My mom had kissed my own head just to smell the lingering smell of Johnson's baby wash. My mom had read Goodnight Moon to me over and over again as I had done for Bean minutes earlier. My mom had danced with me and sang to me and now I was doing them with own daughter.
I still miss my mom, and that's okay. So much of her is in me and I'm grateful for the time that I did spend with her. Instead of being sad on her birthday and missing her, I thought I would celebrate her birthday by having an amazing day with my own daughter. Bean and I had a New York City adventure. I spent the day telling her stories of mom. We went for a run in the park, played in three different playgrounds, saw the tree at Rockefeller center, lit a candle at St. Patrick's cathedral and I even managed five loads of laundry.
Mom would be proud.