I was so not prepared.
Usually I am the one with a plan for every possible situation and supplies for every contingency scenario. My To Do list says “Make a to do list” and my purse overflows with baby wipes, stain remover and protein bars, all of which validate the Girl Scout training that taught my knot-tying, cookie-selling self to always “Be Prepared.” And so I couldn’t believe I found myself here, the morning of my daughter’s wedding, with 3 pairs of shoes, a 1980’s hair crimper and a margarita shaker but absolutely nothing to secure my dress strap to the Spanks I had sausaged myself into moments before, nothing that might stop my gown from shamelessly sliding off my suffocatingly-engineered bodice and revealing the scaffolding beneath.
Even Girl Scouts can get caught off guard.
Like how unprepared I was for how my life would change when I fell in love with my daughter’s father 20 years earlier; me, a fresh-faced college grad and he, a newly divorced father of three. She was but a waifish little girl, this child not of my blood but quickly of my heart who slowly burrowed her way into my being with her spontaneous invitations of morning cartoons and evening cuddles.
I was even less armed when at 14, she lay tearfully crumpled on the couch having broken up with her first “boyfriend” and I wanted to tell her this heartache would fade but instead bit my tongue and offered her a spoon for the Heavenly Hash and truthfully whispered, “I know, baby. I know.”
And in a blink she was 20 and I was in no way ready for the aching echo of the house the first weeks after she moved out as I struggled to accept that the days of late night gossipy cups of tea and chick flick marathons were things of the past.
Nor did I expect when she was 25 that my purest pleasure would come from afternoons spent wandering the market, comparing juiciness of tomatoes and sharing recipes and realizations that she had perhaps met a man as good and kind as her Dad, a man she excitedly told me she dreamed of building a family with.
But on this day, minutes after having artfully duct-taped satin to spandex (confirming my husband earned a badge or two more than I in packing essential survival tools) I thought I was finally all set.
Only when she walked into the chapel, her delicate hand clutching her father’s arm, this elfin princess of a woman, I barely caught my breath and my eyes brimmed with a rush of emotion that threatened to burst outward.
I was so not prepared.
Maia Aziz is a Social Worker, Certified Laughter Yoga Leader, writer and speaker who hosts the weekly talk radio show Morning Moments with Maia…Conversations of Love and Laughter on Blogtalkradio. She works as a clinical manager in pediatrics at the MAB-Mackay Rehabilitation Centre in Montreal, Canada and serves as President-Elect on the Board of Directors of the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor. Maia is a regular blogger for The Positive Psychology People, but mostly she is just a regular gal doing her best to muddle her way through life, some days more successfully than others, but always with a relentless sense of humor.