The column “Find Your Buried Treasure” appears weekly in the Chanhassen (MN) Villager. This column was published on April 28, 2011.
Much of the world is preparing to watch the royal wedding this weekend. According to magazine polls and newspaper articles I’ve read, over 80% of us here in the states will be watching the ceremony as Prince William and Kate Middleton become husband and wife. Restaurants, organizations, and individuals are planning activities and events that include watching the ceremony on television as it occurs, even though the wedding will take place very, very early in the morning, our time.
I have to admit that I’ve got some maternal and nostalgic emotions going through me right now. I still remember watching on TV the royal wedding a generation ago of William’s parents, Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. I recall the births of each of their children, as well as the triumphs and tragedies in their lives, including the royal divorce, and the death of Princess Di in a car accident a year later. For many of us, even those far from any relation or connection to the British monarchy, Prince William’s marriage feels almost like a family event of our own. It feels like Diana’s life coming full circle, with time marching on.
But the reason I’ll be feeling so maternal and emotional this weekend is not because William and Kate are getting married. It’s because my daughter is.
While the rest of the world will be watching the ceremony taking place in London, I won’t give that one a second thought. Instead, I’ll be preparing to watch my baby girl – who somehow and suddenly turned into a beautiful, grown-up, independent young woman – take the wedding vows that will give her a new name, a new role, and a brand new start to the rest of her life.
Her husband-to-be is someone my husband and I love almost as much as our daughter does, in part because we could see from the moment we met him how much he cared for her and she for him. We’ve watched their love and their relationship grow even stronger in the time since then, and we’ve enjoyed getting to know him better along the way. And, of course, the fact that he proposed to her right in front of us – after asking my husband for permission to marry her – has endeared him to us forever.
Just as the world press is making comparisons and connections between William and Kate’s wedding and his parents’ wedding 30 years ago, I can’t help but consider my daughter’s wedding in terms of my own. I’m thinking of everything she has yet to discover, including the indescribable joy and wonder that will come if and when she has children of her own. But I’m also wondering what difficulties and challenges she’ll face in the years ahead, because that’s a natural part of marriage, too.
I know my daughter will adapt smoothly and easily into her new role and new life. And as I adapt to roles I’ve never held before – mother of the bride and mother-in-law now, and grandma at some point in the future – I’ll continue to watch and cherish the growth and changes in our own family events as all our lives come full circle, with time marching on.
I’m sure that after all the royal festivities of this weekend are over, everyone will still be talking for a long time about the big wedding they witnessed from afar.
I’ll be doing the same, but about a wedding much closer to home. And much nearer and dearer to my heart.
© Betty Liedtke, 2011