Last week, my older son texted, I need relationship counseling. My office is open, I wrote back.
For nearly two hours, he perched on my dresser, his heels hooked on the hanging-open bottom drawer, while we hashed out his relationship with his girlfriend, my relationship with my husband, core values, personality differences, decision-making methods, life goals, etc, etc. The two of them had a good thing going, we both agreed. Also, it’s okay to take things slow, I said.
The next night they came out for supper and announced they were getting married.
I actually wasn’t surprised — from the very beginning, our entire family has thought (and hoped) this was where the relationship was heading — but I was shocked. My son’s getting married. Our family is gaining a new sister/daughter/WIFE. What the what?!?!
Gradually, the news is settling. I’m beginning to wrap my head around this seismic change. Our family now includes another person. My son’s loyalties are shifting . . . and so are mine: for all these years, I’ve had his back; now I have their back. This switch is so strange — and terribly scary: vulnerability, risk, and hope are inextricably intertwined — but it’s also liberating. I’m free to love her now.
My husband and I have been spending a lot of time processing, thinking back to our few whirlwind months of long-distance dating and our seven-week engagement when I was twenty. We were so young, we marvel, shaking our heads. That two people can decide to do life together — it’s audacious, really.
Aren’t they radiant?
This same time, years previous: a hernia, hip-hip!, the big finale, the proper procedure for toweling off after a shower, the quotidian (9.7.15), regretful wishing, how to clean a room, Saturday, the big night.