Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Musings from a mother of a groom

I can't believe that my baby boy is getting married in just a little over a week. It's the weirdest feeling. He's been in a relationship with this girl for 10 years (I'm not exaggerating), and I certainly expected it. But still, I can't quite get used to the idea. After April 24, there's no getting out. He's committed. Not that I want him to de-commit, I don't. I want him to stay married, forever and ever.

How do I explain this? With every new marriage, there's joy and elation and giddiness, to be sure. There are months of planning and gobs of resources that go into the wedding. But there's always this little rattle of foreboding lurking just under the surface: Will they be happy? Will they be content? Will they avoid regret and mistakes? Will they be able to pay their bills? Will their kids be healthy and intelligent?

Don't get me wrong: I trust my son's judgment, and I love his bride-to-be. She's a wonderful woman. They've grown up together and each is the other's best friend. If I were a gambler, I'd say this was a sure thing. Even so ... .

I remember the same feeling before my own wedding nearly 33 years ago. I was so scared the night before I could hardly sleep. What, I wondered, if I was making the Biggest, Most Horrible Mistake? And how could I possibly tell my mother I felt like fleeing? I imagined the whole scenario in my head, ending with the part where my mom could never show her face in church again because her horrible daughter embarrassed her so. And that was that. I regained my composure in the morning, walked down the aisle and got married to a guy I love more than life itself. Still do. Whew.

I've decided that nobody who gets married should do so without that little flutter in the pit of the stomach, that little nudge of doubt. Because lots of marital success is like gambling at the casino. Sometimes you hit it big, but most times, you barely break even. But if you can live your life as though tomorrow will always be better than today, I think you'll be OK. What's that line in a song from "Annie"? "Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow. You're only a day away." Here's to many tomorrows, darlings.

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