I thought this post may be appropriate given the holiday. With this being my first official Mother’s Day Weekend coming up, I have been calculating all of my different and new opinions about,motherhood, my own mother and how difficult it must truly be for your mother to see you walk down that aisle on your wedding day and be “given” to someone else who symbolically vows to do the job she once and will forever do for you… To love, to cherish, to have and to hold, to comfort in sickness and in health, forsaking all other…
I look at my son daily, who is now 9 months and am constantly wishing I could freeze time and keep him at this size and age. He will always be my little baby and I will always think of him and remember him the way he is now. Like all moms, I will worry about him finding that person I feel competent to make those vows to him. The questions of my own competence begin… Will I raise him well enough to identify who this person will be? Will I prepare him to discover himself and then know who he will need to marry in order to live a full and complete life? How will I know if I do a good enough job for my child before he walks that aisle? The answer is… your children will tell you… so…
I look around my house today at the little shrine I’ve made within these walls to
the family I have, the wedding day I received and the home that we have built.
I catch myself saying things to Cash that you said to me when I was little. I
deeply hope that I can shape and inspire Cash’s life the way that you have
mine. You gave me life but you also made me live it.
In my house, I will always have droves of vintage and antique glassware
I will always buy, things in odd numbers for spatial decorating
I will always have an enormously oversized dining room table to serve as my
household nucleus, because you must have enough room there to never turn anyone away.
I will forever know every word to every Beatles song ever sung
Yellow roses will be my favorite flower, because it is yours
I will crochet until my hands won’t work because you always impressed me and for
some reason I just think it is what a mom should do!
I will randomly think up reasons and ways to donate to Greenhill Humane Society
I will NEVER cut my hair above my shoulders
I will always be grateful to you for all the sacrifice you made along the way to
make me, ME
On our wedding days, we can see how moms aren’t always receiving the gratitude they deserve. Most weddings, mine included, have the father escort the bride down the aisle. This is symbolic in its own way but can sometimes be a sadly painful vision to moms who have spent just as much or more time raising their daughter and feel that they should be the one to let her go. This is not inappropriate or selfish of moms in any way but in fact should be reflective of how much they care about their daughters and how emotional they are about their daughter’s future. They want to be there to ensure that person promising to honor and protect will do the job. Moms should be a part of this.
Around my bouquet, I made a ribbon wrap. I sent out a note to all the women in my life who were significant to making me a “woman” whether they were young and I had coached them or they were a part of my husband’s family who also changed my life by raising him. I asked each woman to send me a piece of ribbon that either represented our relationship, or themselves. All of my relationships to these women were different and yet all of them were so similar.
What this ribbon wrapped around my bouquet symbolized to me was a team of powerful women “holding my hand” as I did the biggest thing in my life, walking up that aisle on my wedding day.
My main goal was to create an incredibly powerful bond with the empowerment of becoming a best friend, wife and of course, eventually a mother. I will always be me, but after your wedding day you are different, better, and I wanted as many strong influences of successful “women” there with me all day to usher me into this new role.
The bouquet ribbon was built like this: I took a long ivory satin ribbon and stretched it out horizontally, I then laid down, in order from left to right each person’s ribbons:
My volleyball players (who had been with me longer or at the same time I met Billy and who had made me the coach I am) farthest left, so they would be closest to the bouquet when wrapped. Each girl chose a ribbon that she either wore in her hair on game day, just liked the fabric because it reflected her personality (lots of animal print here!) or thought of me when they chose it.
I got a piece of ribbon from each of my bridesmaids reflecting our journeys together: Canadian ribbon, UO ribbon and others.
The volleyball moms were next. Over the 10 years of coaching they had taught me so much about parenting. I will forever remember their wisdom!
Billy’s family was next, from his mom and step mom I received pieces of them that made them moms and shaped their lives, a ballet slipper ribbon and a scrap fabric from a dress she had made while “mom-ing”
Then I had my immediate family to teach me how to be an amazing, eternal WIFE: my step mom with a piece of the dress she married my dad in, both grandmas; one with a piece of her wedding veil (which I can’t believe she cut up for me!) and a piece of her wedding dress. I also used one of their garters and the other an appliqué from her dress collar that I made into a hair
pin. I received a piece of my aunt’s wedding dress. My sister cut up her first horse show blue ribbon… which I know to be incredibly precious to her and I still can’t believe she did that for me either! Such a strong moment in her life, and she GAVE it to me… the power of weddings…
Finally, the last 7 ribbons, the ones that finally wrapped around and touched my hands, were those for my mother. Why seven, and why all leopard print?
I know that you may think you didn’t get a spotlight on the wedding day, but you
actually did. Every decision I made had you behind it, including the date,
7/7/12. Seven was the first thing you gave me that changed my life…
All seven of my mother’s ribbons were leopard print. Why? My entire life my mother has taught me to “have my own spots” never do what others are doing, never make yourself conform to the normal, never let anyone tell you what to do. That sticks. It is a mascot, a crest, a uniform and homage to my upbringing. My humble rebellion and empowerment lives in those tiny spots, and my other gave that to me. Thank you mom.