My second born, my first baby girl is getting married on Sunday. The flood of emotions at times are simply overwhelming. On one hand, a mother’s heart soars when her children have taken all the right steps into adulthood. Briana is about to finish graduate school, her career is lined up and now she has found the man of her dreams and she is going to be a wife. That makes my heart burst. As a mom, we all want our children to thrive and Briana has thrived.
But on the other hand all my Mama’s heart can think of this week is that sweet newborn baby they laid in my lap 24 years ago. She was perfect. Just an angel. I can remember looking at her face and saying “she’s Bee” and that has been her nickname ever since. She was a shy, quiet girl with the most amazing sense of humor. Even as a small child she could make you laugh with her dry wit. Briana loved changing her clothes. She also loved wearing her clothes backwards. She always marched to her own tune and she did it well. She could be an absolute stinker and the biggest charmer you have ever seen.
When she was about 2 she swallowed lighter fluid. I panicked and took her to the ER. She had already vomited it up, but she was my baby. I had to be sure she was alright. The ER was packed that night and we waited a long time. She was so good and sat in the room crinkling her nose and smiling at me. I can still see her face. I loved those few hours, just the two of us alone.
One summer Papa would take her swimming at her Aunt Dotti’s house while I worked. She loved spending the day swimming, and Aunt Dotti would always order pizza for the kids. Briana LOVED pizza. In fact it was her favorite food. She would eat pizza all day and swim. When they would get ready to come home she would ask Aunt Dotti “are you going to eat all that pizza?” pointing to the leftovers. Aunt Dotti grabbed a box and sent her home with her very own box of pizza. When Papa pulled in the driveway I went out to get her out of the car. She was out cold in the back seat hugging the box of pizza. I wish I had gotten a picture, but it’s forever in my memory.
She loved her Papa and she was a Papa’s girl. He loved to cuddle with her and he thought she set the moon. He was able to visit her at college. He was so proud he could bust. He didn’t get to see her graduate but you can be sure he gathered all of heaven to make them watch Briana graduate. They had a special bond. He would have helped her Dad walk her down the isle and he might not have released her so easily, but he would have been bursting with pride. I know he will be watching from heaven, but I wish he could have been there.
My Briana is the incredible combination of tender and funny and fierce. She is strong and beautiful and talented. She will forever be that sleepy little girl cradling a pizza box , but now as a Mama I have to watch her walk down the isle to begin her own family. How will I do that without running up there and snatching her away? How will I gracefully release her to this new season in her life? I don’t share well, and I especially don’t share the most incredible gifts God’s given me well.
God knew how hard this would be for me. I will be able to release her because I will be surrounded by friends propping me up, helping me to do it. They will be there to celebrate with me, cry with me and hold my hand. If I should start to get up to go snatch her away you can be assured they will jump on me and hold me down. I just hope I can see her through all my tears. Being a Mama is a hard job. God gives you the most incredible gift of children, then he asks you to release them. He and I are going to have to have a discussion about that.