Don’t let the picture fool you. We do look good, in that family way. But I promise you, this was not as light and easy at it looks. As that picture was being snapped I was fighting back a whirlwind of struggle.
A little background: In a few weeks one of my dear friends is getting married for the first time. She is over 45. We were roommates for years. She is one of those exceptional people that buildings and children are named after. She deserves all of the joy that is coming her way. He is spectacular too. They met online. Quickly.
Louise lived with me before (5 y.o.) Sam came into my life (through domestic infant open adoption at one day old), and was one of the first to welcome him when we came home from the airport. She was one my two birth coaches, who cut the baby’s cord when he made his grand entrance. Neither of us have ever been married.
She came over yesterday to check out the ring bearer’s cowboy threads, and to put this mama-bear-er at ease that this task, of delivering the rings down a path and onto an altar on a beach, isn’t going to be too much for them to handle. They will be unassisted by me, or anyone for that matter.
We drew a map, and then the boys walked around my house holding hands, and carrying pretend ring holder things. They stood up tall their matching button downs, pants to match the groomsmen, and bolo ties. Cowboy boots, though second hand looked first class. All went well. Magnificently as a matter of fact.
Then on her way out the door I burst into tears.
No, not out of joy for her. I wish I could be that friend. Far from it today.
The tears came from my mounting anxiety of yet another wedding as the single mom. Because of our closeness, I am really feeling it this time. And the ante feels so high-as I am also the single mom who will be spotlighted as the mom of the kids who ran in the other direction of the altar, or who dropped the rings in the marsh when they ran off looking for crabs while waiting for their cue to come up the path with the long awaited symbols of eternal love.
Weddings bring up all this stuff for me anyway. Add the single mother number many of us fall victim to that goes something like; “my kids will be damn near perfect so I can prove to you that I don’t need any help, and they are none the worse because of it,” and you have a recipe for messiness for Mama C. Louise listened to it all, and of course, in her gentle and loving way, turned it all around to leave me feeling seen, and heard.
She was so thrilled to hear that I am going on a blind date this week too. Nothing like a wedding to sound off my spinster alarm bells times ten. Even contemplating opening myself and my family (indirectly for now) does to me? Ugh.
With all of this feeling churning around in me, it is no surprise that Sam has had one of the worst weeks of his fifth year in terms of testing each and every limit that exists on this earth. No surprise that Marcel is picking up on his big brother’s language and trying it on for size. Don’t touch me Mama! he yelled as I was getting him ready for bed the night before last. I almost collapsed on the spot.
He hugged me five seconds later when he scared himself with those big boy words. But still.
We’ll all do fine at the wedding. And, a day will come when the wedding I’m blogging about might very well be my own. Until then I’ll hold the Joy and pain as Luther Vandross sang to me when I was sixteen, like sunshine and rain, and show up for whatever magic comes next.