Monday, October 12, 2015

Blink

Congratulations and so much love
for the happy couple!
I had a whirlwind of a trip to Wisconsin last month. I've been dreaming of it for months, to go home and visit my family and celebrate at the wedding of my niece. What an honor and what a blessing. It was a wonderful time—we danced and ate and drank and laughed and laughed and cried a little and celebrated our family the best way we know how. We captured a picture with all of my siblings, a few cousins we'd not seen for many years, and as many of the spouses and kids as were available. My only regret is that my own were in Oklahoma on this weekend of celebration.

We celebrated the wedding of my niece, one of only two nieces in the family, and I couldn't help but consider that someday, I would likely be the mother of the bride. And I'm not ready for that someday to come.


Niece and nephew, once
upon a long time ago.
This kid—my niece, the beautiful bride—whom I can clearly recall asking "Mommy, why is Auntie Mari's butt so big?" back in the olden days when she was four and black bicycle shorts were considered an appropriate form of pants by some teenagers. This little girl, the only niece in the family for so long until my own daughter came along, the strong and independent one myself and all of my sisters have marveled over, already a full-on grownup with responsibilities, was now going to be a married lady.

Niece and nephew, all grown up
Among my own siblings, we are six girls and one boy. Between us, we've had six boys and two girls, plus step children. My first nephew came along when I was only 7 and in so many ways, these nieces and nephews of mine always felt more like cousins. They still tell tales of when I would tickle them until they would wet their pants if they couldn't remember the lyrics to certain classic rock songs (in my defense, I believe reports of this happening have been greatly exaggerated). So I guess in some ways, I also felt like their older sister.

I look at my niece and her brother and see so many similarities between them and my own kids. Right around two years apart, first the big brother and then the little sister. Good friends to each other while growing up, a tight pair who fought like cats and dogs and loved one another like only brother and sister can. 

These kids—they're not so much kids anymore. They are grown, married, having their own kids and paying their own mortgages. Before I knew it, I blinked and they had grown up. In between visits back to Wisconsin, every year it would be another milestone reached and suddenly, there they are, fully-formed adults. How could that have happened when I still feel like a kid?
My own kids, once upon a
long time ago.

And then my own kids were born, first the big brother and then the little sister. They love each other fiercely and fight like cats and dogs.

I know that I'm going to blink and my kids will suddenly be reaching all of those milestones too.

I'll be the mother of the bride, trying to simultaneously stay out of the way and participate as much as possible.

Brother and sister, on their way to
adulthood.
I'll be the mother of the boy who's a grown man with children of his own and parenting like he was made to do it.

I'll be looking wistfully at these little kids who suddenly, long before I was ready for it, turned into adults.

And I'll be all the things: proud, sad, happy, wistful, filled with regret and inspiration. I'll second-guess every conversation. I'll want to take back every time I ever wanted them out of my hair and I'll pray they stay close to me while at the same time spreading their wings.

I'll blink and it'll be here.

2 comments:

  1. Beautiful. It truly goes by in a blink of an eye. But happiness is knowing there are so many more blinks to come!

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    Replies
    1. Isn't that the truth? Love you!

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