That was my favourite comment out of all that you left on my last post, and trust me, I loved and read them all. Yes. Man, have you been reading this blog for a long time. The first time I mentioned wee Meg (properly) was Jan 27th, 2004. She was 12. The second was May 4th, in a post entirely devoted to her. (In the name of soft warm merino, click on that link.) That little bundle of knitting energy, of cleverness of… Megan, that teeny girl wed on Monday, and she was not a child. I had been worried that she would be. That she would still seem too small to me. Too… young. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to see past being the mother of that girl to see the woman she’s so properly become.
I was able to do this, but only on her wedding day, in horrific waves of emotion – which means that for a McPhee woman, I was completely out of control. I was not too bad the evening before. We went out for a “last supper” just our little family, and her betrothed was noticeably and deliberately absent. We went to a stupid local restaurant we’ve been too a hundred times exactly because of that. We went there, and we ate what we always did, and laughed about what we always do, and then we went home and had champagne in the backyard, and I was fragile, but okay. I went to bed, and the sisters stayed up and drank bubbly in the backyard and were sweet to each other and I don’t know what they said, and I don’t care. I fell asleep to their laughter, trickling in my window like bells.
The next morning, it was over. I woke up early and came downstairs and drank coffee, and wrote a post to you, and waited for the girls to wake up, and then they did, and the morning was… perfect. There was nail polish crisis* and then I tried to make Meg’s bouquet and there wasn’t enough greens and Amanda drove me to get more and… even that was perfect. We cooked the food for the reception, we tied the bouquet with ribbon. We chimed in on which tie Ken should wear. What lipsticks for the sisters… Right before we left, Megan sat herself down, took a few minutes, and embroidered her wedding date on the hem of the underskirt of her dress. In blue.
I don’t know what it was about that. It was, so much a lesson of her youth. A lesson about handwork and the value of it and what it means to wield a needle and my wee girl thought that up herself, and sat there in the sunshine, needle in hand, and it felt like something I gave her, but maybe it wasn’t.
That morning was a poem. It was everything this family was good at… and then we got in the car and went to my mum’s and kept on rolling. My sister was there and my Mum and my aunt and Joe shined his shoes and everyone got their hair done (even me which is why I look weird but good in all the pictures) and we were tight. We were generous with each other. I love us best when we are like this. All of us. Our family works beautifully when we are all present.
When we were all ready, I was going to go, to get in a cab and take Joe and Ken and go to the restaurant (did I mention Meg was married in the restaurant my sister owns? Perfect.) and I had a bag and a camera and a thousand details, and then Meg asked me if I would come up, and put her in her dress. Blog, I swear everything was fine until then. At the risk of being overly intimate, I went upstairs, and my sweet daughter stepped out of her jeans and her tee shirt, and she stood there, naked and perfect, and moved from one space to the other, and I held her wedding dress out, and she stepped into it. I don’t mind telling you, as she stepped in, and I held it up, and it slipped up over her hips and into her form, and as I slid the zipper up over herself… it ended. I wept. I took the shawl I had made her and placed it round her shoulders, and I kissed her, and fled cowardly to the kitchen.
Her sisters came up then, and were with her. Joe and Ken and I a lift with Pato, and we went to welcome guests. We waited there, me being the only one who had seen her, and the text came, saying she was in the cab, on her way. Her bridegroom stood (I told him she was coming) and then I moved to the back, to take her in though the back door. As I waited, a storm of feelings, my brother stepped up next to me and asked if he could come with. “Oh Please” I said, and we met our girl.
From there, it is a train wreck. From there, I wept every minute. She was, Blog… so beautiful. She was perfect. I mean that. She was generous. She was kind. She gave her day to so many people, and I have never been prouder, and I don’t even know why because I think that marriage is optional.
She walked down the aisle with Joe and Ken, and she moved from their arms to his… and somehow, we let go.** Off she drifted. Off she decided. And I wept, just because she was not my baby anymore.
I’d promised Meg that we would make every minute of her wedding special, and we did. The flowers were done by my mum. Her bouquet was by me. Her venue was my sister (as was hair) Her cake was made by a childhood friend and knitter (Hey Katie it was so beautiful!) We cooked the food ourselves and Blog – you were there. Presbytera, Our Lady of the Comments – sent the most beautiful package of Greek pastries. (Think about that. she baked them, then mailed them… all so we could have a Canadian version of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Meg was so touched, and they were devoured. (Note to Presbytera: I love you. You’re one of the best things to ever come out of this blog, also Rams.)
The evening went on, and yeah. You’ve already asked, there was a song. I won’t post the video, I think Joe and Ken would kill me. We practiced and practiced, and everything was beautiful, and Meg loved it. (We are a musical family, and there’s no getting around that. Joe played the guitar, Ken played the drum, Amanda sang and played the violin, Sam was our ringer, playing the ukulele and lead voice, and Pato and I sang too. (I sing once a decade. Usually at family stuff I knit.)
She wed. We welcomed the lad and lo, he is ours. I cried, somewhat helplessly, throughout my whole toast. I kept trying to reign it in, but she is mine and I love her, and I didn’t know how to let go of that whole thing.
My daughter is a married lady. I am still… overwhelmed by that. I think the thing that is the finish of me is that I cannot make her a baby in my mind any longer. Sam – Sam still curls into my bed from time to time. Amanda seeks advice, and is going to school. (Clever, clever girl.) Megan is married, with an unpredictably weeping mother by her side.***
That will be all.
*The nail polish crisis was me. The ladies put it on me, because of some ridiculous Mother of the Bride rule that I think they made up. it was pink. I wore it until today, when a nice person at a Bike Rally meeting had nail polish remover, and I got it off me.
** This is not even remotely true. I told her husband during my speech that we would not surrender this girl, that at the best, he could share.
*** Joe and Ken you were very strong. My sister and brother cried though.
**** (There is no **** in the post but I wanted to add something) Joe asked the DJ to play “our song” after Megan’s choice at the wedding. I was incredibly touched by his romanticism… Except for when I had to remind him it was our song, and dance with me. We are old. Our daughter is married.
***** Any rumour suggesting that Joel Plaskett attended Meg’s wedding and sang to her and Alex is totally true. Also? Alex? Welcome to A REALLY COOL FAMILY. We’re loud and weird, but as long as you’re this good to our Meg, we’re on your side.