The inevitable happened: my one-and-only is engaged, soon to be a bride. Her intended is a good guy, loves her madly, works hard and looks like he will be a good son-in-law.
I just spent the night with my daughter at the house she will live in. He’s away on business so it was just us, like old times: on the couch watching tv, listening to music, cleaning and doing loads of laundry.
The house is in a woodsy suburb. I’m more of a city’s-edge or beachy suburb kind of person but: This. Is. Not. My. House. Not my decision, not my future commute and certainly not my snow to shovel. The area is beautiful and hilly with lots of nature. (I watched a baby squirrel forage in the backyard.)
It was hard not to fall back into mommy mode. (“That’s not how you fold.” “You should stock up on paper towels.” “Let’s grow some herbs in this spot.”) But we are both grown women with different aesthetics and priorities. And sometimes, sleepily watching old episodes of Saturday Night Live and eating pound cake are the most important things you can do in the moment.
I recognize that my role here is to nod encouragingly and hand over my credit card. I did make it clear that I would not wear a traditional “mother of the bride” dress. If I can still pour myself into a slinky little something, I damn well will. And then I’ll dance in it.
Wedding dress shopping will be fun. This was the kid who adamantly did not want to shop for her First Communion dress. I eventually paid more than I wanted to for the exquisite white dress she truly wanted, with elaborate smocking on the bodice and a bow at the back. It wowed her teacher for being a little girl dress and not an itty-bitty bridal confection.
Soon after that she was happily wearing a poofy flower-girl dress, one that had to be resized to fit her petite frame. I think she and her cousin enjoyed being dressed alike just as much as they enjoyed the honor of being in that wedding.
And now we’re talking about her wedding.
Those days are evanescent, my personal happy place. I wonder how I did it, how we managed to have so much fun while I was working full-time. Back then, everyone had opinions about how I should parent this kid. I still welcome all advice. And, as always, I will choose the advice that best pertains to this young lady…and her husband.