This is How Mother's Day Ends in America
I had asked them to try to sit still for a moment earlier that afternoon while I explained that sometimes mothering is hard, but I could never imagine mothering anyone but them—that I could never imagine a greater love than the one we share. We held each other, then laughed at how them they were, jumping around, being silly. How me I was, trying to be serious with them. All of us knowing already how much we love each other.
But this is how my Mother’s Day ended, because this is how Mother’s Day ends in America:
On our way home from a family dinner, we saw a police car and a fire truck in our neighborhood. Before bed, we sat on the couch, a mother and an anxious girl, talking it out.
This is how Mother’s Day ends in America: with questions.
Why do police have guns?
Do they shoot people?
What’s an intruder?
Can you keep me home tomorrow?
This is how Mother’s Day ends in America: with fear.
I don’t want to think about it anymore.
I feel like throwing up.
I don’t want to die.
This is how Mother’s Day ends in America: with crying.
With a hug.
With answers that lead to more questions.
You are safe, I said.
You are safe.
I won’t let you go anywhere you are not safe.