You know how, when you expect something to happen, you gird your loins, and mentally and emotionally prepare for it? Like, you’ve applied for a job and gone for the interview. You figure it went pretty well: you were delightful, engaging, gave bright, erudite slightly self-deprecating answers, and looked like you knew how to balance in heels while carrying a brief case. You even managed to notice, and spit-wipe, the dried toothpaste stain off your blouse before the interview started.
Then you go home and pour yourself a big glass of wine and tell yourself and everyone, that while the interview went well, you probably won’t get it (though secretly you think you might and you go to bed at night and whisper little prayers to the universe, “Please, just let me get the job. Just let me get the job and I’ll never blog bad things again, and I’ll lose 15 pounds, and I won’t stay up until every one’s asleep and eat all the chocolate chip cookies, and I won’t drink too much at my husband’s Christmas party and fall on my ass on the dance floor (again), and I’ll even invite my mother over for dinner more often. Jut let me get the job. Thank you Universe. Amen.”)
You think you’re prepared for the news either way, but every time the phone rings or you get a new email your heart flutters and skips a beat (taking minutes off your life every damn time).
Eventually, you’re able to go your way, not spending every other moment in diarrhea-inducing anxiety and life carries on. Then. Then, the phone rings. You casually pick it up while your shouting down the house for the ankle-biters to turn down the T.V. while wiping something suspicious out of the inside of your left slipper, and it’s The Call.
All the days, nights, weeks, and heartbeats of steeling yourself for the news is wasted. You’re a puddle, and there is nothing you can (or could have) done about it.
Well. That’s what I became this week. A quivering, quavering puddle.
After months of hints and speculation, I picked up the phone, in the middle of a glass of wine, while reheating Chinese food, while entertaining my oldest daughter’s boyfriend, while she ran out to pick up the nose-miners from a play-date. It was my oldest son on the other end. My 23-year old son, whom I still see as the clumsy, sweet, gentle, messy-haired, funny little man terrified of going to play school. He was calling from Asia to tell me he’s engaged.
My child. My child is engaged. Engaged to be MARRIED!
I don’t know whether to sit, stand, cheer, poop, celebrate, or throw up. I’m a messy, messy puddle of motherhood.
It didn’t matter how many times he told me he loved this girl. Or how many times he told me she was the one. Or even, how many times I responded to these statements with class and aplomb (not many, but I do my best), I was totally unprepared.
Ten million things ran through my brain, including:
- You’re too young!!
- That’s bloody amazing!
- I love you!
- I love you and I’m so glad there is someone else who loves you as much as I do!
- How did this happen?
- Are you happy?
- Am I happy?
- Now what?
- Wait. What?
- How the Hell did I get old enough to have a child getting married?
- Can you repeat that last statement? Because I thought I just heard you say you’re engaged and I know you can’t be engaged because last time I looked you were still too young to have pubic hair.
So here I am, at last, the mother of a soon to be married young man and I’m a little scared. I’m scared about what this means for him, and frankly, I’m scared about what this means for me. Did I raise him right? Will he make a good husband? Will he respect himself, his new wife, and their relationship? Will he pick up his socks? Will he forever fry his eggs on High and burn the Teflon off of every pan? Will I have to wear an unflattering pastel coloured mother-of-the-groom dress to the wedding?