“I’m so happy for you,” I replied hugging her, with tears in my eyes. “You’ve made a good choice.” And then, the planning began: choosing the date, sending announcements, decisions about bridesmaids, flowers, colors, favors and more.
One week later my other daughter and her husband had an announcement of their own. “We’re pregnant!” they said grinning with pure delight.
There was more hugging, congratulations and more planning! This time decisions concern colors for the baby’s room, patterns, accessories and all that goes with the first born in a given family. In addition to the planning the girls were doing, I had decisions of my own to make regarding their separate showers; baby and bridal.
The dates for each became an issue since the baby was due only a week after the wedding date. I decided the baby shower should be first, just in case the little one decided to make an early entrance into the world. Should it be a surprise? How can I pull it off with his family being on the other side of our rather large state? What kinds of games should we play? Should we serve snacks or invite the families and have a barbecue? Is there certain protocol to follow?
While planning this, I also began plans for the bridal shower. I ran into many of the same questions. Should it be a surprise, which games would be best, what food should be served and when do I send invitations? How do I handle it all?
Moments came when I felt overwhelmed with the entire situation. My nerves became taunt, as I desired to fulfill what I believed my daughters wanted. They are after all, "lifetime events.”
As the occurrences overlapped, I finally sat back in wonder, smiled with a degree of satisfaction and realized this is what I had waited for all “their” life! As a parent I always wanted my children to grow up, be happy, find the right mate, marry and have children. This is the joy of life. It’s the cycle that has continued throughout time.
So I collected my nerves and tucked them far back in the recesses of my mind, deciding nothing would mar the excitement I felt about these two separate occurrences I had before me: a wedding and a grandchild.
Deliberately I sat down with pen in hand and decided neither party would be a total surprise. It would have required too much energy to quell the excitement of the planning. List making, date and food choices immediately became easier because the girls could help. And they could share in the planning of games and small surprises that come with the showers.
Including the girls this way made it a "family affair.” This is how it was meant to be I discovered as I watched the pregnant sister hugging her engaged sister, remembering when it was she who received the diamond from the love of her life. While the engaged sister dreamed of the day when she would carry a little one in her arms, a symbol of the love she shared with her betrothed.
Finally the planning was finished. Dates had been decided, invitation lists, games, and food all in order. All that was left was to pray each a nice day! They, after all, deserve it.
I hugged my daughters, my heart full. This was a very special time in their lives and as parents we were there to love and celebrate with them. One was adding a member of the family through marriage and the other through the miracle of birth. Our family was continuing the circle since the beginning of time. This is, I realized was not by chance but by design. What a wonderful gift! What joy!