Expect the Unexpected

I never imagined this day, but honestly, who does? This afternoon I assisted my two children with the all-important, pre-event primp and prep. No, it isn't prom or graduation. Their Daddy is getting married today -- nothing two kids expect when they are certain Mom and Dad will be in love forever. Yet, they approach the event with cautious optimism and I am so proud of them. Once they're ready, I snap a quick picture and watch them drive off into a warm summer breeze. The photo on my iPhone reveals a story...

My 13-year old son is in another growth spurt, so his grey trousers were bunched-up beneath his back belt loops. He looked so handsome though — a fresh hair cut, pressed shirt and jacket, and a white tie for contrast. He wanted bleached Converse on his feet to balance out the tie but I pulled the “mom-card” and vetoed those.

My 19-year old daughter was visibly nervous. She found a modest black dress and wore the highest pair of Michael Kors stilettos in my closet.

Open-toed... fabulous…power shoes to assuage her anxiety. She curled her blonde hair into long gorgeous waves--- grown up with a touch of genuine innocence.

They got ready together against a backdrop of songs playing on Spotify — they sang, chatted, and she offered to style his hair. My daughter’s best friend arrived and my son greeted his honorary “second sister” with an insecure grin. She picked up on his reticence and gushed over him, his sweet face covered with relentless outbreaks of acne. To his chagrin, his sister slathered a clay mask over his tender face the night before, to no avail. This is a vicious stage but he ignores it the best he can and the girls encourage his adolescent swagger in a borrowed suit.

Nothing makes me happier than to hear them laughing upstairs in a crowded bathroom. I busied myself on my laptop to give them space to make this memory together. This is the start of a different stage in their life, and I want them to walk through it arm in arm. Surely, the sibling bond grows when you are with the one person who understands the unease that divorce and remarriage can bring.

My kids will always have my love and support, but protective coddling and unsolicited, motherly opinion must be left behind on days like these. I found myself praying silently, asking God to venture into this day with them, protecting their fragile hearts. There is joy to be had once the nervous stomach passes.

It’s an odd thing to not accompany my children on such a big day in their life. I guess I need to get used to that fact. My kids now have two families — two hues to their lives, and I will do my very best to blend the colors to the degree that I can.

They pose playfully in front of the maple tree in our yard. Selfies are perfected and the compulsory Instagram post is completed. I send them off with hugs and kisses as they load into the SUV. The music resumes as the windows roll down and I give them a hearty smile with my wave goodbye. I too, am learning to expect the unexpected, and it is ok.

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