The Mother of the Bride

My daughter did it her way—and I couldn’t be happier

By Patricia Volk
Photograph: Illustration: Juliette Borda

I am so busy soaking this in, I’ve lost track of time. Suddenly someone grabs my arm. “You’re late!” she screams. What? Huh? “Everybody’s waiting!” she says, shoving me into a tiny, mirrored room where I step into my dress.
Then everybody sees everybody, including the bride and groom, and from this moment on, I leave my body. I levitate. Is this what euphoria is? The music starts. My grandnieces scatter rose petals and the rest of the wedding party follows them down the aisle. When Polly comes out, everyone gasps. My girl is literally breathtaking. I cannot stop smiling. I smile for four hours, forget to introduce my friends, dance with everyone I know and by myself too. And when people start to leave, I think exactly the same thing I thought at my own wedding: Where are you going? It can’t be over yet.
I had nothing to do with this wedding except give birth to the bride. I had nothing to do with my wedding except saying “I do.” Neither occasion was what I expected. It’s been my experience that expectations have little impact on outcome. That’s the way it is, intrigue and surprise at every turn. There are people who are miserable if things don’t go a certain way. Not me. My dreams have no rigidity. I wouldn’t have it any other way. 
Patricia Volk is the author of five books, including a memoir, Stuffed, and the novel To My Dearest Friends.

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