Steve saved me from myself.
Months have turned into weeks, and weeks will soon turn into days. Come May, my daughter is getting married. Friends and family keep asking me how the planning is going. Well…it’s going great, because it’s not up to me. I just get to show up to the wedding and have fun. And we have a lot of friends and family helping!
Back in October, when Julia, our firstborn got engaged, my husband suggested we simply give Julia and Luke money for their wedding. All control would be shifted to Julia and Luke. They would have this money to budget their wedding and reception, and whatever they needed above and beyond, would then fall upon them. All decisions, at it came to the wedding and reception, would be up to the bride and groom. I relinquished all control, which was hard. I believe this decision saved me and saved my relationship with my daughter. You see, as the mother of the bride, it’s easy to insert opinions and easy to take over. Early on into their engagement, it was obvious that I had my ideas how this wedding would go, and Julia had her ideas…and they weren’t always the same. My husband would gently remind me that its Julia and Luke’s wedding, not mine. So, we gifted them money, with one string attached, it must be used for the wedding and reception. After that, no strings attached. No guilt dumped on their decisions, no imposed expectations (well maybe a little bit from me).
Back when the girls were young, I admit, I struggled with letting go. For example, I made my kids wear helmets when they climbed trees. I can’t believe I did this now, but yeah…when they went to the park and wanted to climb trees, I seriously made them wear their bike helmets out of fear they would fall. They have never let me live it down.
I had a hard time letting them go when they were babies. That first time I hired a babysitter was agonizing. I think I called home every 30 minutes.
I had a hard time letting go when they went to kindergarten. Then, before you know it, they have their driver’s license, and you hand them the keys to the car, and pray they don’t get in a wreck.
Letting them go off to college was the worst though. That last hug is a killer.
Letting go of the wedding planning hasn’t been too bad.
I let go of the guest list, which was a relief. After all, this is Julia and Luke’s wedding, not mine. So…some of my friends aren’t coming, basically because Julia and Luke don’t know them. Julia and Luke had limits to how many people they could invite due to their budget, so they chose to invite their closest friends and family, and not necessarily mine.
I let go of the decorating. Julia and Luke had their own ideas (probably more Julia on the decorating). She shared her wonderful ideas with me along the way, and my job has been to support her ideas. She also has this amazing woman, Tracie, who is helping as the wedding planner. Thank the Lord for Tracy.
I let go of the details.
I let go of the music.
I let go of the food, (though I got to help with finding the caterer).
My daughter has given both Steve and I specific things we are to handle with the wedding details, but beyond these things, we let go.
The part of letting go that is soon to be here is the one that Steve and I are trying to grasp. It’s the part when she says, “I do” and she no longer is under our care. It’s hard to imagine her home is changing, and her family will soon be Luke. We love the boy, so this is a blessing. He loves our girl, or we would be in a fit about now. And though they are relatively young these days to get married, we have blessed this marriage by saying “yes” to letting go, so they can start their lives together.
Steve saved me from myself in helping me let go of the wedding planning, so that I can focus on letting go of the girl. But, with the wedding approaching in just a few short weeks, I am starting to totally feel the weight of this. The ultimate feeling of letting go is just around the corner, and I think I will need lots of Kleenex in the days ahead.
Specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy
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Patricia, I love this. Everything about it! My kids are just 5, 4, and 2 but OH, I struggle with the letting go too. I can’t imagine how much harder it is going to get. That Steve is such a wise one, and you two complement each other so well. May these next few weeks with Julia as you start to figure out how to “let go” this next time be sweet and oh so filling to your soul as the Lord meets you there.