Sowing The Seeds Of Your Family
This past Saturday, at about 5pm, I officially became a mother of three and a grandmother of one. I even kept it together well enough to sing during the ceremony. It was a beautiful night, and seeing the pure happiness on the faces of my son and his bride filled me with tremendous joy.
I have been looking forward to this moment since the day he was born, but dreading it at the same time. It is bittersweet to watch your children grow and become independent human beings. I will admit to feeling a loss of purpose at times, but my overwhelming pride at seeing them pursue and achieve their goals means so much more. I never really thought about the type of woman my son would end up marrying, and it isn't something we ever really talked about. Seeing the way he looked at her from the very beginning, though, I know now that he wasn't meant to be with anyone else.
Today, August 27, would have been my 27th wedding anniversary. It is a bittersweet memory. As the father of my children, I will always love him, and even though we grew apart as a couple, I still consider him (and his family) family, and always will. Watching my son get married and start his life with his own family, I am reminded of all the things we got right and all the things we got wrong. So many things I would have done differently if given the chance.
I believe that God has a plan for all of us, and it is not always in line with the plan we created for ourselves. I have reached that phase of my life when it is time to pass on what I've learned to my son (and one day, my daughter), and what I would tell him is this: Speak your truth, and listen to hers. If there is a conflict, don't let it simmer unspoken. Let her know how you feel, but validate her feelings at the same time. Don't take things too personally. If something is bothering her, don't immediately go on the defensive. Listen to what she has to say, and try to see the situation from her point of view before making any judgments.
What would I say to her? Love my son unconditionally, but don't lose yourself in the process. Continue to discover who you are as a person, and accept that you will both grow and change over the years. Marriage is hard. Life is hard. But you're doing a great job, even though it may not feel like it. You grew a human from scratch and birthed it! Own that power! You now have another village to turn to in difficult and challenging times, and we will protect you fiercely.
To both of them I would say, you are a couple FIRST. It won't be easy, but make time to do things as a couple, not just as a family, because a happy family starts with two people who are not afraid to do the work.