Well, I did it. Somehow I survived watching all of the cute children dressed up on the sunshiny Easter Sunday of 2012. What got me was seeing a fairly newborn baby girl in a black and white polka dot dress with a light yellow sweater. She was so precious in her parents’ arms. The tears began to roll. Then I saw her big sister dressed in matching attire. Just adorable. More tears.

I sat in the church pew crying non-stop and feeling like a fool. After all, I was 40 years old. I should be able to control my tears, shouldn’t I? But they come when they want to, and not at opportune times.

Like last year at a Saturday prayer night, after finding out that the hostess was pregnant with her ninth child. How could such a joyful announcement make someone like me so sad? I cried most of the evening, though thank goodness I didn’t start until after my turn to pray was over. My tears flowed freely, and they didn’t stop easily. After all, it was about a week before Mother’s Day.

So here I am today, about a year later, and Mother’s Day is fast approaching. I can’t wait until it’s over. It is by far the hardest holiday of the year for me. I have been a mother only to my stuffed animals and dolls. I also had a dog once and I treated her like my little princess.

In August, I will be 42. My biological clock is almost tick-tocked out. My husband and I have our own health issues to contend with. Why would we even consider the possibility of having a child now?

There would be risks because of my age. I also suffer from a bad back, significant migraines, hypothyroidism and fibromyalgia. There are few days when I feel great. Why in the world would I want to add the stress of a baby in today’s hectic world? Would I?

Yes, there is adoption, but that can be both costly and timely. Some people my age are grandmothers already.

A lot of people throughout my life have told me that I would make such a wonderful mother. Maybe I have the luckiest stuffed panda bear in the world. You can see that love has been given to her ever since I got her, way back when I was in fourth grade. She looks like she has been through a war.

I love my many nieces and nephews, who range in age from 4 to 40-something. I think children are adorable, sweet, cute, clever, etc. The list could go on and on. I enjoy crafts and coloring and kids’ board games. I often stop to look at cute little outfits when I am in Walmart and Kohl’s.

I am an aunt, a sister, a daughter, a sister-in-law, a cousin, a godmother, a goddaughter, a granddaughter, a niece, a friend, a wife, a woman and a worker. And if I never have the title “mother” or “grandmother,” it is certainly not because I don’t love children.

So, as Mother’s Day approaches, along with my niece’s dance recital, another niece’s first communion and my cousin’s son’s graduation, I know my eyes will be wet with sadness and joy.

But I will survive like I always do, with Kleenex close at hand and the love for a lot of little ones in this world, even though they are not my very own.