The marriage of my oldest daughter was this past weekend. With great fortune, weather remained wonderful for the outside venue. More than a stroke of good luck concerning the weather, the calm and positive energies of everyone in attendance would have overcome any adversity.
Days leading up to an event such as this can be a bit unnerving for the bride and groom and for the parents as well. Hoping that everything unfolds according to plan and that no details are overlooked can overshadow the significance of what is about to take place. With that said, I learned a lot about the capabilities of my daughter and her friends. As mother-of-the-bride, my small tasks were easy and amazingly stress free.
On the actual wedding day where one would think the stress would be at high tilt, the bride set the mood for the calmness that would prevail. She and her wedding party had prepared so well that there was nothing left to do but enjoy the camaraderie of the day. The total feeling of peacefulness was something unexpected.
The moment is great when you get to realize the outcome of how children have grown up to become wonderful adults. A transition took place in my mind as the images of remembering all the gatherings at my house when the bride and her friends were still in high school fast-forwarded to this wedding day where I fully appreciated what amazing people they now are. They are confident, competent, and successful in what they set out to do.
Many people asked me if I was sad during the wedding ceremony. I explained that there was no way I could be too sad because my daughter was not just finally leaving the house for good. She has been self-sufficient since leaving for college eight years ago. More than that though, I had to be happy because she is everything that I always wanted her to be. My daughter is strong, confident, and independent. She is that and so much more.
The friendships she has created and maintained over the years are with great people and a testament to the type of person she is. For the friends that spent a great deal of time at my house while growing up, it is so nice to know how deep the bonds are. The same is said for the friendships my daughter and her husband made in college as many of those individuals traveled miles to celebrate and participate in the special day. I heard nothing but praise from all and the admiration went both ways.
As a parent, it is common to wonder if you did a good enough job raising your children. While it is easy to doubt ourselves or to think of ways we could have done better, there is a certain amount of fulfillment in witnesses the successes and knowing that in some small way, we may have helped that success come to fruition. Even then, we, as parents, may not fully believe it. I know I personally fret too much, stress too much, and mentally beat myself up over things not worthy.
For all the doubts I may harbor over what could have been better done, my daughter and her friends help soothe the senses. Referring to the optimistic “woman power” talks I had with them over the years, these young women relayed story after story of how something from me resonated with them then and stays with them still. Knowing how wonderful they have all turned out to be, I feel truly blessed to have been a part of their lives, no matter in how small a role it may have been.
A wedding is an extremely happy occasion. More than just celebrating the beginning of a new life together, the entire ceremony offers a larger picture of what that life may be. The family and friends that support and celebrate with the bride and groom are telling of exactly how special the wedding moment is. As a mother, I could not be more pleased with the positive influences my newlywed daughter and her husband have on their side.
Great friends and great family is so much of what life is about.