Sitting back on the couch, I tucked my feet under me to get more comfortable. I looked around the room at the group of young ladies sprawled about, some on the floor leaning against the brick hearth, others settled into plush furniture like me, eager to hear what would come next. We came from various backgrounds and most had only been married a short while. Being the oldest student, I’d been married the longest, eight years, but the differences didn’t matter much in this place.
Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of my daughter’s wedding day. I’ve long wanted to write about one central part of our preparations, but the words simply haven’t coalesced. Spiritually speaking, this past year has been hard. I have encountered steep, seemingly impassable terrain on my journey to the high places. Yet my Shepherd has been faithful to lead me through it, and as I look back on my daughter’s lovely, lovely day, I now see the gem, the standing stone, my Father left for me.
Aiming carefully at my subject, I shot blind. Lifting the camera, I squinted at the LCD screen but could still see nothing; the brightness of the mid afternoon sun rendered it worthless. I tried again, choosing my angle with care, holding perfectly still. When the breeze died down enough for the vibrant, violet bloom to still, I pressed the shutter once more. Shrugging, I walked on, waiting for the next flower or critter or bit of beauty to catch my novice eye.
If there was ever any question that I am emotionally stunted, this morning laid all doubts to rest. For weeks after my daughter tied the knot, friends would ask how I was faring, how my mama heart was adjusting to the loss of one of my chicks. I would smile and assure them I was fine, that in my steely emotional fortitude, I hadn’t even cried on the day of the blessed event. Oh, I got all choked up and lumpy in my throat that day and I did almost lose it when they ran the gauntlet and drove away. But I managed to suck the tears back into my eyeballs and make it through just fine, thank you very much.
It took a full four months after the fact for the first tears to fall. I missed my baby. A few genteel tears fell like a soft spring mist one morning and that was that. So I thought.
I’m a serious procrastinator. Better to just come out and own it rather than make lame excuses, don’t you think? Many moons ago I promised my online friends some pictures of the blessed event of my daughter’s wedding. Today marks six months of wedded bliss for her and my new son, so I find it a fitting time to finally share some of the fun of that magical day.
With as much stealth as I could muster, I made my way to the dilapidated building. I paused for a moment, unsure as to how I should proceed. The enemy was somewhere behind me, of this I was certain, and my hesitation gave fear the opening it needed. A feeling of dread swept over me, a certainty of imminent attack making my blood pulse. Spinning around, slashing with my knife, I encountered only empty air. I raised my weapon, mean and black, and perused the area…
When I became pregnant for the first time, having endured several months of fertility treatments, I was confident that I knew exactly what I was getting into. I’d read books and articles, I’d studied other parents in my sphere, and in my youthful arrogance I was sure I’d be the perfect mama.
Then, after birthing my daughter, reality walked up and b*#ch slapped me, knocking me flat on my smug posterior leaving my ego bruised and bloody. Dazed, I realized I didn’t know squat. This motherhood gig was HARD.