Little did my daughter’s fiancé know when he proposed to my daughter last week that miles and miles away in another part of the state he was transforming a regular garden-variety mom into a “Mother of the Bride”. More about that later.
My daughter is excited, happy and buried under a pile of wedding magazines. If they save the magazines they could potentially repurpose them as housing. A small stack strapped together might make a nice fat brick. We might all have to share this housing together commune style as weddings these days cost about a billion dollars.
Now here is my feeling about this.
It wasn’t until my daughter called to tell me she was getting married that a secret door opened allowing me a glimpse inside that part of my mother brain that I don’t ordinarily get to see.
You might think that making a big deal about a wedding is all about excess coupled with the fairy princess thing. And hey – not to mention all the social obligations you can take a machete to. The secret I never knew is that a wedding symbolizes and celebrates a number of simultaneous transitions and milestones and the combined power of those deserves our making a helluva splash.
There is definitely a traditional female coming of age and sharing common bonds aspect to engagement and marriage that is special and can’t really be described. I find myself randomly teary-eyed remembering her first day of school, various graduations, handmade cards and her dependable thoughtfulness over the years.
So I want to make a splash because this is a coming of age event for both of them and maybe for all the rest of us. But there is more.
There is something you need to know about my daughter. She has always, nearly 100% percent of the time, done what was expected of her. Even when it caused her great distress and I know it did because I remember. Even when it wasn’t exactly the direction she might have chosen if left to her own devices.
There were a lot of cooks in my daughter’s kitchen. We are your typical modern family complete with lots of step this’s and step that’s. The family is quite extended and everyone has had a pretty strong opinion regarding my daughter’s life-plan.
She worked excessively hard in school – actual sweat and tears hard, had good grades and in sports pushed herself physically well past where she should have.
She suffered from exercise induced asthma (but still ran) and shin splints (but still played field hockey). If you look closely you’ll see that several of the lines in my face actually say “bad bad coach”.
So this wedding will be a coming of age celebration, a “you are special” celebration, a “we have never seen you make a decision lightly so we absolutely trust he is the one for you” celebration.
We like him too. . .
And this will be a welcome to the family celebration. When my daughter’s fiancé proposed last week he began a process that will eventually transform two families from separate parts of the state into one connected family who will all get to add in-law to the end of our name. That’s probably so we’ll know we are related.