Forever Family

familyMy daughter got engaged last summer, and her wedding is coming up fast.  Even though we’ve spent the past few months booking a venue, reserving a church, selecting her wedding dress and making all the hundreds of other decisions that seem to be required for a wedding these days, it has only recently begun to sink in that she’s actually getting married.  And soon.

I still remember the first day I brought her home from the hospital, and how everything single thing in my world suddenly felt so different.  The house my husband and I had lived in happily for a couple of years had to be completely reconfigured to accommodate a baby, a good night’s sleep became nothing more than a distant memory, and even the shortest outing required careful planning as we either had to find and hire a reliable baby sitter or pack a diaper bag with more provisions than I normally packed for a week’s vacation back in my childless days.  My husband and I had shifted from being a couple to being a family, and life was never the same again.

Later, as we were raising both my daughter and her younger brother, I couldn’t even imagine what life would be like when they grew up and moved out to start their own lives.  The four of us were a complete and happy family unit, and the thought of us not living together anymore was almost frightening.  At the time, I had a friend whose youngest daughter had recently moved out and I asked her how she could possibly cope with that loss.  She told me that in her opinion, the teenage years were God’s little way of making it a bit less painful to see them go.  And as the years went by, I understood that she was right.

When our turn came to have an empty nest, it wasn’t the horrible adjustment I thought it would be, because I realized that I hadn’t really lost my kids at all.  They had grown up, but we were still a family and our relationship was simply different than it was when they were children.  Now I could see the young woman and the young man they had become, and I liked what I saw.  And the little bonuses of having an empty nest, such as the extra closet space, much smaller grocery bills and not having to listen to either country or rap music in my house helped, too.

MarthaIn a few short weeks, our family is going to change again, and in a big way.  My daughter will be married, which means her first priority will be her new husband, and not us.  She’ll even have a new last name.  But, once again, this is just a change that means our family will be different, and that’s not a bad thing.  We’re gaining a terrific son-in-law who already feels like a member of our family.  It’s reassuring to see my daughter in love with someone who makes her happy and to know that they are choosing to spend their lives together.  And I know she is marrying into a wonderful family whose love and support will only enrich her life.

I have come to believe that family is something that is both constant and constantly changing.  And that change isn’t always a bad thing.  In the case of this particular change that is coming to our family, I believe it’s a very good thing indeed.

12 thoughts on “Forever Family

  1. Watching or walking your daughter down the aisle is an almost surreal experience. You’re physically there but your mind is in a hundred different places. You’re right, it’s not a bad thing at all. It’s a change but life is a constant state of change. Congratulations on your daufhter’s upcoming wedding..:)

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    • I’m sure it must be a very surreal experience, and I know my husband is a bit nervous about it! I’m thinking the whole wedding will be that way for me, but I know it will also be a lot of fun. Change can be a good thing, can’t it? Thanks for the comment!

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  2. I am still in the throes of being an empty nester. My kids chose to move across the country and our relationship is really different. Thank goodness for social media and we can keep up with each other. Enjoy the wedding!

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    • Yes, I know I’m very fortunate to have my kids living close by. When they went away to college (same state, different cities) I was so glad for cell phones and the internet! But it will wasn’t the same as being able to have them drop by for a meal. Thanks for the comment!

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  3. Ann, last year my daughter got married and it was one of the most amazing days of my life. I could live it over and over again. That day was beautiful in every way. From the time I woke up on her wedding day until the time we went to bed I was in ecstasy. You will enjoy this day immensely.

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  4. Thank you, Maureen! That is so good to know. I am a bit nervous, but I do think the day will go well. And it help so much that I feel she is marrying the right person!


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