Our oldest son, Ilan, got married last week. And our ten year old daughter, Gabi, began her first day in grade 5 today. Having children spread over 16 years of age provides for an interesting existence.
Ilan (26) married Carrie, now his beautiful wife. It’s very hard to put into words the feeling of that experience. But try and stop me!
There is certainly a feeling of “OMG, I have a son who’s getting married!” There is also a feeling of excitement and anticipation after months of preparation. Mostly though, there is a feeling of gratitude. Gratitude that he chose an amazing person. Gratitude that they found each other. Gratitude that she demonstrates compassion for his struggles and pride and joy for his achievements. Gratitude that we love them both and they seem to feel the same way. Gratitude that we get along so well with her family. Gratitude that my son seems so happy.
And then there’s resolve. I have strong feelings of resolve to always know my place and to offer opinions only when asked. I resolve to always try and understand personal boundaries and respect them. I resolve to keep an open mind and to continue growing and learning from my children.
OK, enough introspection! The wedding was beautiful! The flowers were amazing, the bride and groom looked incredible as did everyone in the wedding party, including me! I felt great! The band was seriously unbelievable – Grooveyard. My daughter-in-law, usually a woman of few words, gave a lengthy, heartfelt speech.
It touched me and many others. Two of Ilan’s best friends also spoke. Their speech was humorous but really showed a deep understanding of Ilan. The humor continued when Adam and Dustin (Ilan’s two younger brothers) sang a medley of songs with their own lyrics. Hilarious! Little sister Gabi spoke which amazed me. I was so proud of her. I knew that she was anxious but she did it anyway and very sweetly I might add. All in all a “couldn’t be more perfect” evening.
Yesterday, we began a new school year. Walking Gabi into the playground and witnessing hundreds of boisterous children clamoring to be heard I could really understand her anxiety. It feels like chaos and for children who feel less secure in chaos it can be a nightmare.
On the way to school she said, “Mom, I don’t feel so brave today.” I thought that was a wonderful thing to say for so many reasons. How many ten year olds know what they are feeling and can express it so eloquently? We did lots of hugging and kissing and I will be sure to be at the school early because I know that my coming late is one of her anxieties. I never am, but she fears it and that’s what’s important. So my plan for the next few days until I see she is feeling more comfortable is to give her lots of love and empathic listening.