Sunday, August 31, 2014

The MOG Files

My son just got married. It's our first wedding and my first performance as Mother of the Groom.
This is my story.

On wardrobe:
So, like any female, the first thing I think of when I think wedding is 'clothes.'
MOG dress.
Shopping for the MOG dress is a nightmare.
Try googling it, and you see that exactly two options await you.
In one corner are the models who weigh approximately three pounds wearing dresses with hemlines just below their armpits. Checking search parameters...did I type 'ill-repute' by accident?
Where are the fertile, birthing hips? Where is the droopy bustline? What about this woman says she ever gave birth? or wears an overtheshoulderboulderholder?I just think if you're going to model Mother of the Groom dresses, you should at least be...a mother.
In the other corner are the moo-moos. To qualify, you must weigh at least four thousand pounds.

But I'm not Twiggy, and I'm not Moo-moo. I'm the MOG with a son at the altar and a son on my hip. Accesorize means 'burp cloth'. I need a cute clutch to carry a lipstick binky and an extra diaper.

And then there's the hair. I've been making peace with my hair for decades now. My angst over my 'curly' hair elicits little compassion from my straight-haired friends.
"Wish I had curly hair. Let it work for you."

Just all kinds of no.

Do you say to someone with a curved spine, Just let your scoliosis work for you?
And the grey hair.
Like having pipe cleaners permanently sewn to your scalp.

My daughters gave me endless grief over shoes.
I wanted something comfortable, something I could dance in. But they just shook their heads and sighed. What about me says I can walk down an aisle balancing on a three inch head of a pin?
In the end, I found everything on clearance. And I felt like a dignified forty-something. Which was all I wanted, anyway.

On crowds:
I've never been a the more, the merrier kind of person.
The more, the harrier is my maxim.
The thought of spending days on end with LOTS of people I don't know, well, I was just a wee bit agitated.

I'd rather kick a rock down the road.

But God was SO good to us. We made new friends of our new family even in the midst of weddings, to-do lists, cars and kids zipping in and out of the driveway, curling irons and tuxedos everywhere, sleepless nights with baby, relatives flying in...
Lots of crowds? Yes. But lots of laughter, memories, and hugs, too.
And helium. Lots of helium.

On Plastic Bubbles:
Rehearsal day finally arrived. As MOG, this is my day.
The day I have to decorate something.
And feed lots of people. Lots of food.
Neither of which I particularly excel at.
This is the day my 14 yr old and I drove all over town looking for disposable tablecloths that didn't come in play doh colors--the same day my bank blocked my card because I was in another state.
This is the day that I climbed through mounds of black-eyed susans with scissors to make centerpieces.
Me. Centerpieces. Bwahahaha.

This was also the day that the wedding was becoming a reality.  As the kids stood at the altar, and all the family was gathered to hear their parts, the pastor said, "We're going to pretend there is a plastic bubble around these kids. That's to protect them from you. (smile) Today, theirs is the only opinion that matters."

What fantastic insight. This is a new season for them. And a plastic bubble is not a bad idea from here on out. They are going to make friends, find a church, raise a family, pursue a calling. And what they do not need is our unwanted input.

I'm a big fan of voluntary accountability.
But unsolicited advice always feels like interference.
Plastic bubbles remind me that requests for advice should come from within, not without;
That our job will be to pray for them and cheer them on;
But it's their job to learn on their own, to seek our advice when they want it, not when we think they need it. It's their job now to walk the walk and live the life.
Discovery learning, we call it in our home school. The kind when experience and mistakes are the most powerful teachers.
Plastic bubble.
An idea whose time has come.

On legacy:
Wedding day!
Pomp and tears and siblings letting go. Kisses and covenants and witnesses approving with their presence.
The legacy is passing to a new generation.

At the reception, after traditional toasts, each set of grandparents said something to the kids. Dani's grandfather quoted Jimmy Stewart's Shenandoah speech and urged Luke and Dani to spend time cultivating their relationship. Brett's dad reminded them that long-lasting marriages are hard work. My mom quoted Psalm 61. "You have given me the inheritance of those who fear Your name."

Inheritance, indeed.
This new couple has three sets of grandparents who have been married a total of 153 years and two sets of parents who have been married a total of 51 years.
204 years of marriage covenant.
And we've got their back.

What are you, some kind of love expert?
Why, yes, we are.

The wedding clothes are put away now.
There's a new household, a new apartment, a new daughter-in-law.
This week I turn my attention to my other children.
My brief evening stint as MOG is over. And now I'm just MOM.

But as I reflect on this next generation of covenant, of the heritage behind me and God's faithfulness in front of me, I'm a very blessed, very happy woman.