letting go…

My firstborn recently got married. Having already waved a son and his new bride off to their honeymoon, I didn’t expect this one to be any different.

But it was.

Because this was my DAUGHTER. And, double standard or not, we look at our little girls just a little bit differently than we do our sons. We hold them just a little tighter; we protect them just a little more.

Releasing your baby girl to someone else feels a little like severing off a body part. You aren’t sure how you are going to function without it even though you know that somehow, someway you will.

It’s just going to be different.

Walking into her reception, filled with friends and family, I was slightly discombobulated at the number of people in my daughter’s life that I’d never met. For years it was MY handwriting on the invitations, my notes next to the RSVP lists for birthday parties and graduation announcements. And now, I’m staring at strangers who know and love my daughter like I do.

It was bittersweet.

On one hand, the pure delight on these stranger’s faces as they learned I was her mother made my heart swell up with pride. They adored her. On the other, I was acutely aware that the amputation had taken place long before she said “I do.”

My little girl had grown up.

Of course, I knew it. I’d watched the graduation cap toss. Twice. I’d watched her career skyrocket. I’d seen the accolades; I’d heard the accomplishments.

But until she stood at the altar exchanging vows, she was still mine.

Now she’s his and I must say, I couldn’t have picked a better husband for her. I know God’s Hand was in their union and, as a bonus, she got an incredible set of in-laws.

I also know that our relationship will only grow stronger when she becomes a mother herself.

That softens the blow.

I think I’m always going to long for a machine to go back in time to when my kids were little. When I was the center of their universe and they were my world. But since that’s not going to happen, I need to focus on the future.

And my wish for the future is simple: that my daughter and her new husband have a life rooted in laughter and love, putting God first always.

…as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15

Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him….Deuteronomy 13:4

Elliot and Callie Varney, May 2019

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