She showed up.
When I first saw this picture in a private message from a friend, I was mortified.
I don’t want anyone to see that picture – EVER!
But the more I looked at it and allowed myself to remember the events leading up to that moment in time, the more I wanted to write about it and post on it.
This picture captures my heart and its outpouring while in a hard place. It was utterly overwhelmed!
Returning to the classroom last fall after a 12 year hiatus, I had no idea that my eldest daughter would become engaged and set her wedding date for the weekend immediately following the last day of school.
It was a blessing, though, as the extra income allowed us to set a modest wedding budget for her, and now that we are on the other side of the events, everyone can enjoy their summer!
I had no idea the new issues that would stir in my heart as I began my journey as mother of the bride. There were lies about my own wedding that I had believed. You don’t deserve a wedding! I needed to name and process those. There were painful parts of my story to face, yet again, and strong feelings to understand.
I am barely coming to terms with my own marriage, and now my daughter is getting married!
It’s been a full, full year.
I am grateful to Katie and her father for all of their hard work and planning. It was a mercy that I truly couldn’t be deeply involved, and they were a great team. Scarlet and Stephanie came through as maid and matron beautifully, and my parents and sister-in-law pitched in heroically at the end.
I taught and planned and finished the school year and worked on the end-of-year school program. These are significant areas of wounding in my past life, so the struggle was even greater for me to stay present and focused and fighting forward.
The program was wonderful, and the students passed, and we could finally celebrate a wedding! Our school principal, Mrs. Pflugradt graciously instructed me not to come to work on Friday and just be mother of the bride that day.
Wedding weeked kicked off Friday with a leisurely morning for me, followed by a walk to the Elks Lodge to check on the decorating and meet my girl for lunch. Things were looking beautiful.
It was merciful to be spared tablecloth drama and to have dear sisters and friends covering those bases! It was strange to move up a generation from bride or bridesmaid to mother of the bride. That is definitely a different role.
Steve and I took Katie to lunch at one of her favorite downtown restaurants and shared final words and thoughts about who needed to pay what and how much. After lunch, I walked across the street to Ten Thousand Villages to see if I could find a necklace to go with my dress while Steve drove Katie where she needed to be.
I found a beautiful, fair trade, sequin necklace to wear!
It was time to get the siblings and head over to rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. Things went fairly well at rehearsal, and the picnic dinner was a wonderful choice for all of the children we had (both little and big!).
Wedding Saturday was full. Really full.
From early morning nails (yes, I am getting a donut out of a box!), to lunch with Steve’s family who was in from out of town, to afternoon dressing and grooming of younger siblings, it was intense. Good, yes, but intense.
We had to be at the church by 2:45 for pictures, and some significant melting-down was beginning to happen by a certain child.
From 3:00 until the wedding at 4:30, things went non-stop, and I was wearing high heels.
Then the music started, I was escorted in to light a candle, and just like that, the ceremony was over, and we were in the basement waiting for guests to clear out so that final pictures could be taken.
This set the stage for MOBzilla’s appearance.
After pictures, the little girls rode with their reception attendant for the evening, boys rode with Caleb and Dana, and Steve and I rode together to the reception.
Upon arrival, I was directed to the front porch to wait with the wedding party to be announced. Little girls were fussing about being hungry, it was hot, I overheard murmurings of guests wondering where they were supposed to sit, and then it happened.
My best friend of over 30 years emerged from the front doors to the porch where I was standing with a plastic cup of wine in hand.
I looked at the cup and looked at her and something inside began to stir and abruptly snap.
My guests are drinking wine at my daughter’s wedding from plastic cups!
We all have our little quirks, and one of mine just happens to be that wine is to be drunk from wine glasses. I will go to great lengths to ensure that this happens. Of course, if it is an extreme situation (like an airplane ride), I will make an exception, but not at my daughter’s wedding where my husband was assured that glassware would be used!
A grip of my husband’s arm and stage whisper into his ear, and next thing I knew, wine glasses appeared. But that first hour. . .
By the look of the bar tab, I don’t think the guests were as bothered by plastic cups as I was. A friend later told me, People don’t care what they are drinking free alcohol from.
We began to be introduced, and I walked in to the first glimpse of the reception while a string of observations flooded my head and came out of my mouth to my husband’s ears as we stood in the back corner.
They served wine in plastic cups! We didn’t reserve enough tables for family! The DJ is botching everyone’s name! Of course he is, because you chicken scratched them out, and if we had known that the DJ would just pull out the paper and read from it without communicating beforehand that he hadn’t practiced and couldn’t read them, I would have written them out in kindergarten print! The kids are making a mess of the chocolate fountain! There is chocolate coating my son’s face and tux! I can’t do this! I’m leaving! This is a disaster!
Yup. That’s the MOBzilla face.
My gracious husband listened and asked how he could help me de-escalate. He listened to me, brought over a glass of white wine in a wine glass, and left me to have conversation in the food line and around dinner tables with real friends, and MOBzilla was appeased, and I was once again just plain MOB.
And it was an experience.
This experience was actually experienced by me in its fullness. Dancing, talking, eating, hanging out with friends, this all happened without me snapping photos to document it later. No MOB selfie, even! For pictures, I am at the mercy of our lovely photographer friends.
This is the father-daughter dance. You can look closely and see me in the upper left with my BFF.