All through the week, I sang “Baby Mine” (remember Disney’s Dumbo?) quietly to myself. We spend a lifetime pulling our children in, protecting, loving, and then, letting them go. It was a beautiful fantasy setting in Costa Rica on a black sand beach where she said her vows. She has spent the better part of her life showing me she how much she loves. Details count to Lauren. It’s the little things she does that make everything special. She doesn’t just sign a Mother’s Day card. She makes it from scratch. She doesn’t just love when it’s convenient. She pours herself out like a drink offering.
This past week, I watched her love her new stepson with a grace that made an indelible print on me. I watched as she became wife and mother in one clean sweep. She asked us both to “give her away.” It was a gift to me to stand beside her at such a moment. As the ceremony started, a three-legged dog hobbled through the gathering. I thought how poignant it was to have a reminder of our imperfections, our incompleteness as we joined two imperfect lives, but two people in love who seek that wholeness. I thought about my job as a mother and prayed I could let go. I thought about the ups and downs that marriage inevitably brings. I thought about their joy this day, and I prayed it would be doubled with each year that passes. As the ceremony ended, two macaws flew over and landed in a nearby tree, as if on cue. The same thing happened at Lindsay’s wedding. At the end of the ceremony, two egrets flew over. Both times the witnesses gasped. Surely God is in this place. And this mom watched and knew God was helping me release them into His more than capable Hands. Blessed life together, Lauren, Mike and Liam. I love you more than words can convey.