Monday, February 24, 2014

Giving Away My Baby

The Wedding is Days Away....

Welcome to February with that “love is in the air” Valentine’s thing it has going on. It has made me think a lot about what’s happening in my love lives. Yes, lives. With apologies to my spouse, I must admit my kids take up a huge piece of the room in my heart – they grew it to the size it is after all. So as my youngest gets closer and closer to her March 1 wedding date, one of the loves of my life is moving on.

To be sure, Doug, my darling husband, is THE love of my life. He’s my rock, my second half, my partner (on and off the dance floor). We fell in love and married with the assumption that we’d be “us” forever – kind of what ‘til death means, right? So here we are getting ready to take a significant next step in our relationship with our baby, Brittany.

Parenthood is all about love. How else could we survive what we experience with, for, and because of our kids? It takes heart to go from one crisis to the next for DECADES. And we do it all with the full expectation that they’ll break up with us in the end. It’s actually a parental goal to be left behind by our kids. All good in theory. But I can tell you, being days away from the last time our daughter will share our family name, I’m a bit shaken.

Brittany is ready to become Mrs. “someone else.” She won’t be “my” Brittany Hyde much longer. My husband has recognized the significance of her name change from the beginning. He’s the last of his Hydes and would love Brittany to carry on. While understanding Doug’s perspective and commiserating with him on the subject, I kind of filed his angst in the male ego drawer. Now I’m realizing that Brittany by deed AND name is going to be first and foremost a full-on adult, married woman and my “baby” second. “Second” sounds so unfamiliar.

It’s just another of those innumerable parenting moments where your heart gets broken because everything is going exactly as it should. Brittany and I have had a very close relationship over the years. We’ve never really had a period where she “left me behind” as I expected she, appropriately, would.

Brittany is our last of four – and spoiled luckily not rotten. Her siblings dubbed her the princess (she STILL can’t stand it when they tease her). She’s quite a bit younger than her siblings so she and I had significant one-on-one time. To include a forty minute commute to and from school. Amazing what you can get kids to talk about in a car! Even having left home a few years ago, Brittany stays in touch and still asks for my opinion and guidance. Big mom blush.

I fully expected Brittany to do the whole separation thing complete with the sporadic hating on mama thing. Just about every mom/daughter pair that I’ve ever known has gone through it. I was so sure it would happen, that I found myself waiting for some rebellion to rise up during her wedding planning process. Even though I know we’ll still text and chat, her marriage is a milestone for all of us. I can now say the wedding planning process has been very enjoyable even though the end result is painful.

It is like giving birth all over again to give her away to a husband. We’re saying goodbye to baby Hyde and hello to the newest Mrs. in the family. All the “stuff” we’ve been ordering for the wedding has Mr. and Mrs. all over it. To include, in the spirit of a Florida wedding, golf tees, sunscreen, and water bottles. Doug practically has had to learn Lamaze breathing himself to handle all these name change reminders.

So we are counting down to the big party. The golf outing is set and spa reservations are in the works for our "Refresh and Renew Before They Say I Do" time with aunts and grandmas. RSVPs are starting to roll in and rooms at the hotel are booking fast. Doug bought a new tuxedo shirt and tie. I have a final fitting for my dress and am stressed over those few remaining holiday pounds. All in a year’s work toward a wedding….

My favorite text conversation with Brittany this past month sums it up for me:

Brit: Just mailed the invitations…
Me: OMG. Now you're committed.
Brit: Good!
Mom: It will be a great party!

It better be – and not because of the money and time we’ve put into it. I’m sending off a greatest love, and I want it to be a celebration worthy of life’s significant relationships. Parent-child, mom-dad, newlyweds. Happy tears!

And happy parenting love to you!