Mother of the Groom
Two of my favorite movies are the Father of the Bride and the sequel, which was originally called Father's Little Dividend, then retitled Father of the Bride 2 in the remake. The original, released in 1950, starred Elizabeth Taylor and Spencer Tracy. It tells the story, from the father's point of view, of a young woman preparing to get married and leave the nest. The remake is the same story, but presented as more of a comedy, and with a house that America fell in love with (I was devastated to find out that the interior shots were not the actual house, but a soundstage). I adore both versions, and when the kids were smaller we used to watch them as a family. My ex-husband prefers the remakes, and would cry like a baby every time Steve Martin walked his daughter (played by Kimberly Williams) down the aisle. We still tease him that he will be just like George Banks when our daughter finally gets married, and he absolutely will. If you haven't already figured it out, the overall message of the film is how a man comes to terms with the fact that his little girl is all grown up.
But here's the thing - what about Moms? My son is getting married in less than a month. I was driving back from the post office the other day after dropping all the wedding invitations in the mail, and suddenly (and without warning) I was sobbing. The reality of the situation finally hit me. I'm surprised it took this long, honestly. He has met a woman he loves more than me, and in a few weeks he will begin his life with her. Don't get me wrong, she is wonderful and I am thrilled for them. They have their whole lives ahead of them, a blank canvas, ready to create endless memories.
Still, he's my baby boy and my first child, and there is a bond between mothers and sons that cannot adequately be put into words. How do I sit in a church pew and watch him pledge his life to "another woman"? I am having trouble wrapping my brain around this. More importantly, how do I get through it without making a complete and total ass of myself?! I could pop a handful of Klonopin about an hour before the ceremony, then rely on the alcohol served at the reception to get me through the rest of the night. Or I could run by Office Depot, huff some computer cleaner, and have no clue where (or who) I even am. Or I could suck it up, put on six pairs of Spanxx, shove a box of Puffs Plus down my cleavage, and look on with a smile as my son marries the love of his life.
To me, though, he will always be that little baby I rocked to sleep night after night, whose crib I sat by for hours when he was sick, the little boy I walked to school on his first day of Kindergarten, comforted in middle school when he was relentlessly bullied, and the young man who first paid for his own dinner with his mom at our favorite Mexican restaurant. I sobbed when he left for the Navy, I sobbed when he came back, and I know that I will sob again as I watch him take his vows. Because it's what mothers do. It's what we signed up for. We know when we have children that eventually we will have to let them go, that they will no longer need us like they did when they were little, and that one day we will no longer be the most important person in their lives. And that's a good thing....so I'm told.
Will someone please remind me of that in about 3 weeks?