Well, there. Youngest daughter is not only married, but the occasion’s now been properly feted, and I can’t even tell you how trashed our house is. Not the kind of trashed that comes from not cleaning up for a few days because you’re busy, I mean the kind of deep trashing that comes from three sisters doing their nails while searching for just the right earrings (everything from my scant collection was rejected, and in the end Megan gave Sam the ones she was wearing) while a father tries to find his cuff links and tune his guitar while another installs fairy lights all over a venue, while people drop things off, and pick things up and Pato and Ken cut signs out and Megan arranged props for the photo booth and Amanda’s trying to secretly tune a violin and there was rehearsal and sound check and all of my pairs of tights had holes and my hair was trying to come out funny and we cut and arranged all the flowers and made three kinds of salad for sixty people while there’s glitter goddamn everywhere and there’s a hairdresser doing Sam’s hair in the living room and auntie’s are being picked up and dropped off and another one is bringing over the favours and who did we think was picking up the samosas, and I baked six batches of brownies and then we had to figure out how to get a brownie tower and all the flowers to the venue and then it started to rain. That’s what put us over the top, I think.
It was worth it. Every minute of it. Just look at that Bride shine.
I think it’s pretty clear, from the way I’ve chosen to live my life, that making and doing things for others is a love language for me, and it’s a value I know Joe and Ken share, and one that we’ve worked hard to instill in our children and those we’ve chosen to make our family.
I have never been more confident that I’m surrounded now by people who feel the value in it. From Sam, agreeing to have this party – one I’m not sure she wanted (hence eloping to Vegas) but going along so cheerfully to show us she loves us, and feels the love we have for her… to watching her siblings bust a move so hard to fill the day with things and people that she loves… to the gifts of music and time and energy and hand made things that were special for Sam, and for each other.
It was good for my heart too, to see her new husband Mike working to learn this language. He’s a good guy, that Mike, and I can tell his family shares a lot of these values, though the scale of our escapades might be a surprise to him. (Quite possibly, it was the flashmob that got him – when Joe brought out the guitar, and the gathered masses all broke into “You’ve really got me” with a lot more enthusiasm and less skill than The Kinks.)
It is in these moments that I am so proud of this little family – and I my only wish now is that we could learn to do it without trashing the house so completely. (I have washed the kitchen floor twice and I think the silver glitter may be permanent.)
PS. Amanda has been instructed to not even think about dating for a while. Or at least until I get the house clean.