The unfortunate part of going home to visit is that once you are there, you begin to remember what you gave up to move away.
I’ve programmed myself to focus on the fact that we can skip barefoot through sprinklers in our side yard in February or wade the gulf searching for bait fish any time we please. I’ve squeezed my homesick lemons into lemonade that tastes like sunsets, cold sand, palm trees and Sunday kayak rides. And I like that lemonade.
But this weekend, the protective barrier I’ve built of making the best out of raising my family away from those I love began to deconstruct. I felt what we are missing. I watched Lainey find her place in a line up of little cousins tucked under covers and I choked back tears as Nella was cuddled and loved by men who were once just little cousins I used to hoist on my own hip.
I miss this.
But let me go back.
My mama got married.
I’ve been so busy with traveling and getting ready for the trip that I never really thought about how emotional it would be. It’s something we’ve dreamed of for a very long time. And then George came along and my, how we could never have chosen a better man to make my mom happy…to fit in so perfectly with our family.
We gave our mom away. In a profoundly beautiful moment, my brother and sister and I walked down an aisle, behind my mom–the day before Mother’s Day–and smiled as we answered “Who gives this woman?” with a confident “We, her children.”
It is slightly ironic–to give your mother away–and yet an amazing opportunity I’ll never forget. Things didn’t go perfectly as planned for my mom. But she’s taught us to find happiness, to be content, to make the best of what we have. And in the end, there is joy…if you look for it. Thankfully, Heidi thought to look for it for her on Eharmony.
I thought a lot about legacy this weekend.
I looked at Lainey less as an almost-four-year-old and more as the girl who will grow up and make her own mark on the world.
But mostly I just felt wholly present and grateful for family.
For picking up where we left off.
For knowing that so much of who I am comes from the grounding roots of where I’ve been…of where I belong.
We had some good times this weekend. Moments where the stars and planets were aligned and all was right with the world.
I’ve learned never to go too long without coming home again.
And while this great span of family loveliness this weekend had me aching for more of it, I woke up at 4:30 this morning to prepare for an early flight. I peeled the covers down and shivered with the shock of cold air that creeped in overnight, tucked an extra blanket around the girls, and quietly tiptoed through the dark to the cold tile of the bathroom where I showered. I winced through a goosebump shave that will, I’m sure, soon transform into a wicked case of razor burn, and I finished my shower with two towels–double the warmth. Forty minutes later, I blanketed the girls like burritos and hurried them to the car, promising they’d be warm soon. Because it’s only a two-and-a-half hour plane ride that seperates us from our other home–where May means bare shoulders, sun-kissed cheeks and an array of bathing suits drying over the pool fence.
Maybe you can have the best of both worlds. Where sometimes it’s hard, but most of the time you make it work. Where staying home and going home mean two different things but somewhere in between, there’s a happy middle.
We’ll find it, whatever it is.
More of Mama’s wedding HERE.
(doxology is a family tradition)
Congratulations to the winner of a Popina swimsuit, Comment #1042, Kristin: Hands down my least favorite to do is mopping! My procrastinatory weapon of choice is nursing my sweet little baby! Hey, if he needs to eat, then he needs to eat! So really it’s not procrastinating, it’s just prioritizing!
Kristin, please send your info to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And finally, it’s appropriate timing to introduce two new sponsors as Lainey’s flower girl skirt was designed and created by Bambaroos Boutique. Bambaroos features many styles of fully-lined tulle skirts that work beautifully as photography props or for weddings.
Bambaroos is joined by its sister shop, Studio Wed, which provides wedding and fashion accessories for women.
Check out my new Studio Wed tulle skirt with satin sash. Love.
And if you’re still enthralled with fascinators like I am after Will & Kate’s wedding, you’ll have to check out their stunning selection (this one!).
Use Code BLOGS at either shop for 10% off your order.
I’m running on fumes–four nights in a row to bed past midnight. To all a good night!
Check out Babble’s Mother’s Day sentiments HERE.