Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hopes, Dreams and Wedding Things

From the moment my son was born—even before if I were honest—I’ve dreamed of a better life for him. Although my own life is admittedly good, I wanted him to be healthier, more at peace with himself and others, get a higher education, achieve success earlier or, in short, have a better future than the one I’ve carved out for myself.

By and large, he’s fulfilled those dreams, along with a few of his own. He combined both our goals by playing baseball all the way through college, managing to graduate with honors. He landed a terrific job, sprang up the ladder into management, bought a wonderful house. Last week, to the applause of our closest friends and family, he realized one of my biggest dreams when he slipped a simple white band on the elegantly manicured finger of his best friend, the love of his life, and my new daughter-in-law.

This girl—young woman, actually—is everything I could have ever wanted for my son. Of course she’s beautiful, with glossy raven hair, dancing brown eyes and a figure most women my age would give their eye teeth to have again. She’s also kind, generous, soft-hearted and close enough to her own family to assure me that she has her priorities straight. Most importantly, when my son looks at her, he is filled with so much happiness, he glows. And she glows back.

But sometimes, to achieve your own goal, you have to muck with someone else’s.

They married in an enormous old church, one with aisles on either side of long, centered pews. The wedding planner, a woman with her own vision for the ceremony, insisted my son stand on the far right while the bridal party entered from the far left. Which meant he couldn’t see his bride come through the doors into the sanctuary. Alternatives and compromises were suggested and soundly rejected until the groom, in the interest of having “the perfect wedding,” agreed to stand where he was told and wait to see his bride once she cleared the final aisle. But some dreams cannot be denied, and, as soon as the Wedding March sounded, my son left his assigned spot by the minister and crossed the dais so he could watch the woman of his dreams walk down the aisle to him…a move that brought tears to every eye in the church. (Okay, so maybe the move clashed with the wedding planner's dream, but she went with the flow.)

Now that the happy couple is off on their honeymoon, I realize that my hopes and dreams require updating. List-maker that I am, I'm tempted to start another list. Or maybe, in the interest of being green, I’ll simply recycle the one I have for the next generation.

What dreams do you have for your children? For yourself? And how will you go about achieving their fulfillment?

17 comments:

Lisa Ruff said...

This brought tears to MY eyes. What a wonderful day for you all.

Leigh Duncan said...

Aw, Lisa. Thanks. It was such a special day.

Kristen Painter said...

Very sweet recollection. As my kids all have fur and tails, my dreams for them aren't quite so far reaching. I'd be happy if they could just stay off the table long enough for us to eat the turkey.

Leigh Duncan said...

I can just hear them now, "Oh, you fixed that big bird, all for me?" Good luck with dinner, and happy Thanksgiving!

Judy said...

Very sweet, Leigh. And what a nice wedding. My dreams for my two boys have been for them to be comfortable with themselves and in the world, to know their worth and be certain of our love for them, and finally to be able to share that love with children of their own. I have two more grandbabies coming this year and I'm thrilled! Life is good!

Anonymous said...

Dear Leigh,
What a wonderful story. You are a true inspiration. I hope your daughter-in-law appreciates you!!
Jean Mason

Leigh Duncan said...

Congratulations on the new grandbabies, Judy. And for setting such wonderful goals for your sons.

Jean, I do love my new daughter-in-law and I feel so lucky to have her in my life, as well as in my son's.

Maria Geraci said...

Leigh, what a beautiful post! Your son sounds like a hero from a romance novel and your daughter-in-law sounds like every mother's dreams. Of course, she's getting a fantastic mother-in-law, lucky girl!

Leigh Duncan said...

Maria, what a sweet thing to say!

Rachel Hauck said...

Leigh, congratulations on such a lovely event. I loved the way you wrote about it.

You're a good mama!

Rachel

Leigh Duncan said...

Rachel, that's high praise because I think being a good mama is a tough job. For me, it meant teaching my kids to do, not always doing for them. Helping them make smart decisions so they were ready to make their own once they were on their own. Giving freedom within structure, finding that balance between too much and not enough. Like I said, a tough job. I don't envy moms who have little ones in school today. I think it's much harder for them.

Lara Santiago said...

That's a lovely recollection, Leigh. I especially liked the part where your son marched over to get a good view of his bride as she came down the aisle. Just exactly what a hero would do. :)
I have boys and my hope is that one day they find someone they can laugh with through all the things life throws their way.
Oh, and they have to get along with me, too. lol
Lara

Leigh Duncan said...

What's that old saying? A daughter is a daughter for the rest of her life, but a son is a son until he takes a wife? I've prayed for a good daughter-in-law, and I sure hit the jackpot with this one. She's super! Hope your boys do as well by you.

Linda Henderson said...

I've been very lucky, I have two wonderful daughters. They are both married with families of their own. I have 5 grandchildren now with number 6 due in June. I think we all wish our children will have it easier and better than we did. All I've ever wanted was for them to be happy, and they are, so I'm very pleased with how things worked out. Congratulations on your new DIL. She is very lucky to have you for a MIL.

Leigh Duncan said...

What a wonderful family, Linda. You are truly blessed.

ArkansasCyndi said...

Oh Leigh, your descriptions of the wedding brought chills to my arms and tears to my eyes. I have to shame you for not posting a picture of yourself. You looked beautiful...and SOOO happy.

Anonymous said...

Leigh,
I agree with Lara, you're son's wedding sounds like one we'd all like to imagine for our children. I also agree that your daughter-in-law is getting a great mother-in-law. And now they're celebrating their first Thanksgiving as man and wife and the circle of life goes on:)
Rachel M.

Rachel