"My First Mother's Day"

My first Mother's Day took me from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to Chicago. It was the day I was baptized into motherhood.

mother's day

I like to say that my first Mother’s Day was the longest day of my life. That’s because on May 9, 2010, I began my Mother’s Day journey in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and ended it here, in Chicago, crossing eight time zones along the way.

In a seat in economy.

With a six-month-old baby on my lap.

Whom I barely knew.

I also like to say that I was baptized into motherhood on that first Mother’s Day. A new mom with no clue what my baby needed, I just kept giving him bottles. I prepared bottle after bottle after bottle, and, every time he cried, I stuck another one in that mouth. It was right around the time when the flight attendant passed by to check that our seat belts were fastened before landing that my son, Abel, turned to me with the sweetest baby grin you’ve ever seen.

And then he puked.

Projectile.

Covering me from head to toe.

I entered O’Hare Airport with the badges of a real mother. A sleep-deprived, puke-covered, proud and adoring mother.

To say my first Mother’s Day was blissful wouldn’t be exactly honest. I have dreams of a Mother’s Day down the road full of mimosas and flowers (and sleeping in!), but for now I love to tell Abel the story of our first Mother’s Day together when I got to cuddle him for 32 hours straight on a plane and he “showered” me with love.

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