Tag Archive | Mother-in-Law

Shook Myself Back to Reality

“Can you please make a new place card for me?” my daughter, Laura, texted me. She explained how I needed to change her last name to her new married name.

“I didn’t even think of that,” I said.

“Neither did I!” said my daughter. My future son-in-law was the one who thought of that important detail!  Old habits are hard to break, I thought.

The day before, the three of us sat at the kitchen table. I had printed off place cards of the names of all the guests who would be attending the wedding. The weekend before that, we figured out where people would sit. The table number was on each card too. My future son-in-law held the spreadsheet in his hand, read off the names and table numbers while Laura stamped the back with that person’s food choice.  The choices were represented by a cow, pig, chicken, carrot or fish.

When I first created the spreadsheet, I made eight columns. The names were first, with a column for each person’s response of yes or no, and if they were going to attend, what their food choice was. Of course I put Laura’s name on the sheet the way her name was at the time, and that’s how I made up her place card. I think I might have made a mental note about changing her name later, but with all the commotion, I forgot.

When wedding plans started unfolding, I wondered if Laura would keep her last name. She informed us that she was going to take her husband’s last name, and we all supported her decision. I told her the story about how my dad wanted me to keep my last name as my middle name, but since we gave Laura my previous middle name, I didn’t mind if she kept it.

Before my husband and I got married, my dad had a little heart-to-heart talk with me.

“You should keep your last name as your middle name,” he said one day, out of the blue. I must have had a blank stare on my face. “Then people will know where you came from.”

I agreed right away. I didn’t question his reasoning because I thought it was a great idea. I didn’t really like the thought of losing my beautiful middle name of Elizabeth that is nine letters long, but I knew I couldn’t fit all those names on my driver’s license, and I doubted all that would fit on a check. Checks are only so big.

When Laura reminded me that she was going to have a new last name, it was five days before the wedding. I had started counting the days when it was no longer possible to count the months. As the day got closer, the amount of time we spent finishing up small details got busier. Being busy like that helped me realize we were working towards a goal, and finishing things up made me feel happier about how everything was moving along. As the day got closer, the less busy I was, and I started to think. When I got that text about how I needed to change the place card, it made what was really happening all sink in a little more, and I realized why Dad wanted to me to keep my last name. He wanted to hold onto that little part of me that was my name and who told the world who I was.  I was his daughter.

Up until that time, I thought of the wedding day as being the day I would gain a wonderful son-in-law. For the first time, five days before the wedding, was the day I worried I was losing my daughter, and it was all just because I had to change her name on the place card.

After about three minutes of worrying, I shook myself back to reality. Deep inside a mom knows “that nothing in this world can sever the bond between mother and daughter.” (From Mother of the Bride Article.) After I read that article, I wondered if I should have been freaking out more about how I’m aging and turning into an “elder.” The subject matter in the article is true. I am getting older, but aren’t we all? We’re all moving into new phases of our lives. The best thing to do is go along for the ride and look forward to what will come our way.  The ride keeps going no matter what, so it’s best to enjoy it.

Besides, anyone who is going to have a son-in-law who helps with stamping place cards, is one lucky lady!  Even though Laura will change her last name, she will always know where she came from!

If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies. ~Author Unknown


A Splendid Time!

1009914_10201539903926297_351803285_n[1]Laura & Michael

As I tried to balance my plate in one hand while eating morsels of tasty treats, I wondered if it was starting to rain. I thought I was doing a good job of keeping eye contact with the person who was talking, when it seemed like a little raindrop passed by and missed my plate. I politely nodded and listened as the conversation went on. I waited for another drop to fall. When I didn’t hear, feel or see one, I thought it must have been my imagination. Plus, I could not picture rain falling on such a decent day in August. The sky had been beautifully bright and blue with hardly a wisp of a cloud the entire day.

My husband popped in on our conversation, and asked, “Was that a squirrel?” He got hit on the head with something. The four of us looked up, but since it was getting dark, we couldn’t see any animal hiding in the very tall oak tree. When we looked down, we saw evidence of acorn shells scattered about.

“Oh, that’s not a good sign,” we heard a lady say. “If the squirrels are acting so crazy about acorns already that means it’s going to be a cold winter.” Somehow the talk of winter made us scatter and mingle. I wandered over to the table and tried to decide if I wanted more shrimp cocktail, veggies & dip, meatballs, cheese & crackers, a wrap, or my favorite:  a delicious bit of roast beef piled on toast and topped with a tad of horseradish. I took my favorite, and while I chewed, I stared at the cupcake tree stand. Since the cupcakes were chocolate, I knew I had to have one. The frosting looked like it was some sort of marshmallow that had been whipped into a bouffant.  It reminded me of a hairstyle from the 60s. I plopped one on my plate and it didn’t last long there!

There were high tables neatly arranged about the yard with smatterings of other conversational areas. Each table was decorated with colorful bouquets of flowers that the hostess arranged in a most attractive fashion. I headed toward the table with the comfy chairs and umbrella just in case the squirrels decided to bomb us again.

Laura was holding Michael’s little nephew. I got up close, looked at his little nose, peaked under the blanket and saw his tiny feet. His left hand was bunched up into a fist and rested on the bottom of his chin as if he was in some sort of deep thinking process. I wondered what little babies dream about.

“Do you want to hold him?” Laura asked me. I hadn’t held a baby for years. When people ask me if I want to hold a baby, I almost always say no because sometimes it makes me nervous.  But that day was different. I said yes mostly because that little baby and I are going to be connected with and be a part of the same family.  Plus, he is one cute baby who didn’t make me feel fidgety!

As I sat with the little one and patiently waited for him to open his eyes, I looked around the yard.  Even though a lot of us were meeting each other for the first time, the conversations felt like we had known each other for years.

When Michael asked for our blessing to marry our daughter, I knew it would be the start of new  beginnings for us. For me it means getting to be the Mother-of-the-Bride, plus I am looking forward to being a Mother-in-Law!  Even though Michael has seemed like a member of our family for quite some time now, it will be great when we get to officially welcome him to our family next year when Michael and Laura tie the knot.

Before this event, I didn’t even know that engagement parties existed.  An engagement party is a nice way to start off all the events that come with planning a wedding and a good way to meet each others immediate families.  I’m so glad I had such a splendid time at my first engagement party!

What a great favor God does to those He places in the company of good people! ~ St. Teresa of Avila