Only 1 day to go. Today I seem to be in an odd place. I want to be happy. I promised myself I'd be happy. I'm having to dig deep.
Saturday, #1 son is getting married. Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled. His bride is an intelligent, caring, motivated, beautiful young woman. I can see she cares about him deeply, and he feels the same about her. But, I suppose, as with most moms, my feelings are mixed. I'm not the kind of mom who hangs on. My mission with my sons has always been, raise them up so they can deal with the world and get out there in it. #1 son, as I refer to him, only because he is the first-born, will finally be taking that leap into the world of "grown ups".
This wedding thing has been hitting me harder than either of his graduations. I didn't get teary eyed when he graduated from high school. I didn't even shed one tear when he received his college degree. Those events were stepping stones for his future and I was there to share. Now, with this wedding, I find myself misty and teary. I suppose it's because of the actuality that he is now on his own.
He and his bride will be moving about 62 miles away, which isn't all that far, but far enough. I am fine with that. He's been around this house for the past 25 years of his life. He chose to attend a local university instead of going off to a campus away from home, so he has lived here and commuted to classes. Part of that decision, I'm sure, was because his girlfriend at the time (his bride-to-be) was still in high school. They are high school sweethearts. I wasn't sure if they'd survive a long distance relationshihp when she decided to attend Ohio University, but they did. The miracle of the internet, Facebook and cell phones!
Over the years, I have told people I would welcome the time they did decide to get married, although they didn't officially become engaged until May of this year. They have been a couple for 7 years, since 2001. But as the time draws nearer I find this flood of emotions I don't really understand a little frustrating for me.
She finished her degree at OU in March. I have always stressed to him the importance of not standing in her way. Be supportive I always told him. He listened and I'm glad he did. He is a stronger man for it, probably a better husband, allowing her to follow her dreams. She traveled to Europe two years ago, without him, backpacked with her roomate through France and Italy. Last year she spent three months at an internship in New York City as an editor for a popular women's magazine. Not a small feat for a small town girl. I have immense admiration for her and for him too.
After their engagement was announced, within a month, they decided to get married in August. People were aghast at the short turn-around. Each time we told someone they were getting married in August, the question would be "This year?" And then when we said yes, a look of surprise every time.
They decided on this short engagement because their now entwined lives have taken a different turn. #1 son has decided to attend graduate school and she has had the good fortune to secure a full time job, thus, supporting him in his effort to be more marketable in the "grown up" world. He hasn't had much luck at finding a job with his BS degree, thus his living here at home for the past 3 years. And since she is finished with school for the time being, she encouraged him to follow his dream. If a higher degree would help him get where he wanted to be, she was there to support him. She isn't working at the job she really wanted, but she has said it's what she wants right now.
They are young. They will undoubtedly move on. What impresses me the most, is how they are really trying to work together. I hope they will always be able to be each other's shoulder. I have a refrigerator magnate that I have stuck prominently on the freezer top that reads: "Happiness is being married to your best friend." That's how I've always felt about Hubby and what I have hoped my sons would find. I believe #1 son has found it in his soon to be bride.
So, why all the melancholy? Why do I feel teary eyed one minute and elated the next? I don't think I felt this way before my own wedding! Looks like it's something I'm going to have to deal with. I didn't want tears at the wedding. I wanted happy and smiles! Laughter and hugs! I'll probably get that too, after the tears have dried. So, adding to the hoof beats and paw prints in my life will be the foot steps of my son as he walks into the world with his new bride.