Saturday, September 10, 2011

Wedding Day Thoughts


Last night was the rehearsal. Acting out formal ceremonies when everyone is in regular clothes is funny looking. There were laughs and giggles and wisecracks from the groomsmen (okay, and the mother of the bride). It was fun.  After that it was off to the rehearsal dinner and after eating and mingling, it was time for speeches. The father of the bride spoke about a man protecting and providing for his wife, and reminded the couple that marriage is hard. He then told about the day he got the " I'd like your daughter's hand in marriage" speech. "That shows old time respect and I appreciated it." Later a friend of the groom's gave a toast and teared up over the loyalty of his friend. "Dad, you are getting exactly what you want, someone who will always take care of her.."

I get a lot of people asking me how I'm holding up and if I think I'll cry. These are mostly people who don't know me very well. But who knows? I may be overcome with a torrent of overwhelming emotion.

It could happen.

When we stand in the hallway together while music plays and the guests chatter about how lovely the church is and how clever the programs are, I will take one last look around at the original "us."

I have a pretty good idea what I'll be thinking of:  Kids jumping on the bed to wake two sleepy parents up on Christmas morning, birthday parties,  the first date, proms, graduations. A toddler with ruffles on the butt of her bathing suit running down a beach. Learning to swim, ride a bike, drive. Riding the train to New Orleans, the tube in London, a ferry across the Adriatic. As parents you try to capture moments along the way. You want to take a mental picture because you know it is all only temporary.

I remember when they were young and they would talk about how old they would be someday. "When I'm 16 you'll be 10. When I'm 20 you'll be 14! When I'm 26 you'll be 20!" The idea of being those ages was  astonishing to them . The wonder with which they spoke those words was entertaining to a mom who knew it would all happen quick enough.
Weddings are lovely beginnings and touching endings. Some time during the evening a period will be placed at the end of our family sentence. A page is about to turn.

We've all been acutely aware of this for the past few days.

Last Sunday when her engagement announcement was in the paper and we were having a last Sunday morning breakfast together as a family she told me that the a couple of nights before she and her brother were watching TV after I'd gone to bed. "It was some stupid movie and we were making fun of it the way we always do and the kid (that's what she calls him) looked at me and said 'This is probably our last night we'll ever do this." There have been a few times I've thought that myself recently.

And here we are.

Bittersweet.

Our clothes are all laid out. Our nails are done. People who love the bride and groom and want to help all have their instructions for the day. The out of town guests have arrived. The bills have all been paid and the bride's room is nearly empty because it's all packed up.  I haven't had a big tearful moment yet, maybe I won't. I've got tissues and water proof mascara on hand just in case.

Now. Let's get the show on the road...

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