Thanksgiving has come and gone, the turkey has all been eaten, and holiday lights have begun appearing all over our neighborhood – and probably in yours, too. While I contemplate what to do with the cranberries that are still lingering in the fridge, I am clear that a little time every day to figure out what I’m thankful for right now is a practice I want to continue.
This week is a busy one in our family as we prepare for my daughter Abby’s marriage to her longtime sweetheart Joe. The wedding is this Saturday. The group will be small, the ceremony intimate. I can’t quite believe it’s nearly here, this wedding that we’ve been helping plan since the spring. I can’t quite believe my daughter is now this young woman who is about to embark on the next phase of her life with this man she has known since they were both teenagers in high school.
In the letting go that every parent must do for adult children, I have been sad as often as I’ve been joyful. Wistful as often as celebratory. Such a mixed bag of feelings as I relinquish much of my role as mother. I retain my own fierce commitment to my daughter, as I also do to my son, while trying as hard as I can to honor their adulthood and their choices. That they are fierce about their own independence is worthy of respect.
Most of all I am thankful that my children are nearby. That they have chosen to build lives in the same area of the country, that they spend time at my house, around the dinner table with Mick and me. I am thankful that they both have others they love and who love them. That they have made commitments that they aim to honor for their whole lives.
A wedding to kick off the holiday season is just the thing to keep that attitude of love and thankfulness going. Here’s to weddings and celebrations and family and friends.