As a mother, the realization that one day your daughter will get married and have a life separate from you is inevitable and we prepare ourselves accordingly. Well, recently I got my first reminder that this will happen one day. My daughter, Amber, my Dad and cousin and I attended my cousin’s wedding in Houston recently, and I got my first scare as a mother. I can remember when my cousin was a gangly little girl with pigtails fighting with my brother and nephews. She was always so beautiful and poised, and I knew one day she would blossom into a beautiful young woman, like her mother (my aunt). Her mother passed away several years ago, so it did my heart good to see the child she raised walk down the aisle and become a bride. And my daughter got to talk to cousins, uncles and the like about her grandfather and how he likes to cut-a-rug (dance for all those who are not as old as me).
We interacted with relatives we have not seen for years, and we all got to remember her mother in the fondest way. The fact is, one day Amber will be the one walking down the aisle. She told me when she is much older, and I am so holding her to that! The memories we form with our daughters begin early in their lives. I think of outfits that remind me of when she was young and how I loved to dress her up with bows in her hair — even though she did not have much hair. I think about helping her find a wedding dress and how stressful that will be.
She is probably the pickiest person I know, besides myself of course. She has these ideas in her head and she wants to find the outfit or dress that fits her vision. That is not always simple, especially when her vision does not exist in real life. So, I just save my pennies, and hope that I won’t have to sell plasma every day for the rest of my life to pay off the loan for this event. Some of the best times we have had were looking for the right outfit for prom, homecoming or graduation. Sometimes it took all day, and other times it took just one store. The one thing you can always count on with Amber — there is never a dull moment.
The way she sees herself is always so hilarious to me. She will say, “I can’t wear that because my shoulders are too wide. I look like a linebacker in that, Mama.” I just roll my eyes saying to myself, you are the smallest linebacker I ever saw. She is always so critical of herself, and I just see how beautiful, smart and sassy she is. There is nothing worse than having a child with a smart mouth just like your own. We butt heads sometimes, but in the end she knows I would do anything to see her happy.
I think about the memories I have with my own mother. I thought she was so old fashioned when I was growing up. Other kids got to do so much (or so I thought), so I said I would never be like that with my child. For the most part, I have not been like that, but there are times when I should have been. As mothers we work so hard to be opposite of what our mother’s were, but we end up kind of following the same pattern they established for us. The important thing about my relationship with my own mother is I felt loved. I remember I could talk to my mom about anything. She was the one person in the world who I felt loved me completely, honestly, truly, despite my faults and challenges. Now I find myself wanting my child to feel that same kind of love and acceptance. I want her to know that whatever she needs to discuss or talk about, I am here for her. So when she does (10 or 20 years from now) come to tell me she is getting married, I will be prepared to evolve and change my role. Parenting is such an experience. It really keeps you on your toes. Good thing I have cute shoes to keep my toes looking nice!