SOUCHERAY: Mother of the Bride - Part 1I am writing this article the week before our daughter’s wedding. By the time you read this, the wedding will be over, the newly-married couple will be on their honeymoon and life will have returned to some resemblance of normalcy.
By: Kate Soucheray, Columnist, Woodbury Bulletin
I am writing this article the week before our daughter’s wedding. By the time you read this, the wedding will be over, the newly-married couple will be on their honeymoon and life will have returned to some resemblance of normalcy.
Our daughter Maggie has been dating a wonderful young man, Eric, since junior year in college. They each have two years of work behind them and are ready to settle down and make a life together. I was thinking this morning does this mean that I have lost my daughter or that I have gained a son-in-law? I have heard other people say this and I haven’t decided how I feel about it yet.
We love Eric, don’t get me wrong. We just know that our lives are going to change. No longer will she, first and foremost, be our daughter. Now she will be Eric’s wife, which is as it should be. Wow.
I have the memory of dropping her off early for college a week early so she could be trained as an ambassador for prospective students. I decided I was not going to cry on my way home. So I borrowed a book-on-tape from the library and thought that if I listened to it, rather than cry myself all the way home, I would convince myself I was on top of things. That it didn’t really hurt all that badly.
Well, I locked my jaw. By deciding not to cry, I stiffened my whole body so intensely that I ended up freezing my facial muscles and having a hard time eating for a week. When she was undergoing her training, she e-mailed every day just to fill us in on how things were going. When the e-mail came that she never realized how much my husband and I had done for her, and how grateful she was, I literally sat at the computer and sobbed.
These rites of passage are tough on parents. We raise our kids to be resilient and self-sufficient, so they can go out into the world to survive and thrive. When they are young, trying to do it all, keep it all together, and do it as well as we can is stressful. I don’t think anybody quite prepares us for the difficult moments of letting go. That’s for us to field all on our own.
I think I may be so busy and caught up in all the festivities of this coming weekend, that I will be able to handle my emotions in a reasonable fashion. I am afraid my husband may be a different story. He has to walk her down the aisle, feel her anticipation and excitement, and know that at the end of it he will relinquish her to the arms of another man.
When she needs to cry over something that happens at work, it won’t be his shoulder she will rely on any longer. It won’t be the two of them sitting on the deck discussing how best to handle the story she will cover or the unsettling reaction she received from a coworker.
When she is worried about the car that just got damaged, she doesn’t have to think about how she will tell her dad. Instead, it will be the adult discussion of two grown-ups who will figure out how best to handle the increased insurance.
When she asked if she could still come home for our weekly Sunday Suppers, he told her once a quarter. She looked at me and asked if he was serious. She and I both just shook our heads.
There is no doubt that our family will change in this coming weekend. I know this is a rite of passage that every family faces at some point. It just seemed to sneak up on us so quickly. I’m not sure I’m ready for this.