I was lying in bed reading a nice little romance about a boy and a girl, said boy woos girl, there's a few mishaps, boy and girl fall in love, boy asks girl to marry him and they live happily ever after. You know the kind of novel. You've read them. You've enjoyed them. They're like candy for the reading soul. I was enjoying my candy when my nineteen year old daughter, Sally, came into my room and sat on the edge of my bed. It was one of the good parts so I gave her the one minute signal and made her wait before I gave her my full attention. My children know that sometimes good parts of a book cannot wait. She sat there patiently while said boy rescued the damsel in distress and received a kiss on the cheek for his harrowing adventure.
I looked up from my fabulous adventures of the book world and into the very excited eyes of my daughter. She was just back from a date with her latest boyfriend. I think she was on her fourth in as many months. She was young, she was happy and so was I.
"So, how was the date?" I asked.
"Mom, it was wonderful," she gushed.
"I'm so glad. What did you do?" I asked, trying to be the ever dutiful mother since I really just wanted to get back to my romance, finish it up and go to sleep. I hoped I was going to get the short version.
"We went ice skating at the indoor rink. It was wonderful! He's such a good skater. I kept up even though it's been years since I went skating. Then, he took me on a picnic at Cascade park. We sat up by the toys where there's a little more light. It was wonderful."
I interrupted, "Weren't you cold? It's January, not exactly picnic weather."
"Mooooom, I was fine. We played on the toys and swung in the swings and then sat and had our picnic. At the end of the picnic, we went back to the swings and he asked me to marry him and I said yes!" She was almost screaming with excitement by the end of her statement.
I was almost screaming too, but for a completely different reason. I knew I had to keep my calm. "Did you just say you got engaged?"
"YES! It was the most romantic thing and I totally wasn't expecting it but I know I love him Mom so I said yes."
You loved the last three boyfriends too at this point in your relationship, was my first thought, but luckily I didn't say that. "Okay, tell me what happened Sally, dear," I said as calmly as I could. Crazy yelling screaming, which I wanted to do, never goes over well.
Both of our hearts were racing at this point; hers from her love induced euphoria and mine from shock.
"Well, after we ate we went swinging on the swings again. Peter had gotten kind of quiet so I was thinking how much fun this date had been with all the exciting things we had done when suddenly Peter looked over at me. He said he knew we hadn't been dating very long..."
I know, it's only been 3 weeks, I thought.
"...but he knew he loved me. It was amazing to hear that..."
Who doesn't like to be told they are loved and yes, it is amazing, I thought.
"...and then he told me how wonderful he thought I was and how beautiful I was...."
At the very least, he knows the right things to say.
"... and then he jumped out of the swing and walked over to me. I'd kind of stopped swinging by then. He took my hand and got down on one knee but he was so low down because of the dip under the swing that I jumped out of the swing. He said he'd be the happiest man on this earth forever if I would marry him. I looked down at that amazing man..."
He's only 21. He's barely more than a boy, but I guess it's all relative.
"...and I knew I loved him so I said yes!" she yelled the last bit she was so excited. I wanted to yell myself, but from a different kind of excitement. I took a few breaths. What do I say to my daughter? I can't tell her what I want to say, which is you are crazy! You barely know the boy. We barely know the boy and we don't even know his family. You can't risk your entire life's happiness on one night of wonderful, romantic magic! I think the power from above was helping me that night because I knew those were not the right words and I actually refrained from saying them. I didn't want to lose her because of her idiocy or mine.
"Well," I said and took a deep breath and asked for a little more help from above, "that's very exciting and very surprising. I wasn't expecting something like this so soon."
"Neither was I Mom, but it was just so wonderful and he's so wonderful and everything is so wonderful!"
"I'm glad it's all so wonderful but are you sure this is what you want? What about college? You were only supposed to be taking a semester off," I asked. I thought it better to wonder about college than to wonder about the marriage.
"Oh, he says he totally supports me going back to college. We'll go to school together. If he can't get into my school, he says he'll go to the local community college there. He's really thought of everything Mom."
Yeah right. He's 21, I thought but I said, "Yes, I suppose he has. Well, since he's thought of everything, do you have a date?"
"Well, he thought we should talk to our parents and find out what days would work but we'd like to be married in June."
"JUNE?" I asked incredulously and with a little more force than I wanted to but really, four months from now, what was the rush. I knew she couldn't be pregnant since they hadn't been dating long enough. "Why so fast?"
"Well, it's kind of silly Mom, but remember the musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers we used to watch a lot when I was younger. You remember, right?"
I nodded. Of course I remembered. I loved that musical and still watched it a lot. She just stopped watching it with me because she was soooo busy.
"Well there's that song in there that says "When you marry in June you're a bride all your life" and so when Peter asked me what month I'd like to get married in I said June."
Crap! Why did I ever let her watch that evil musical? This June wedding was my fault, but maybe I could salvage it. "If it's June you want to get married in, then how about a year from June? It would give you and Peter more time to get to know each other, you could get another year of school done and it would give us more time to plan a wedding."
"Peter said the same thing but I insisted this June. It just seems right and I don't need a big wedding. We could have something small with just family and a few friends."
She insisted on this June? This isn't going to go well. She never listens to her father or I once she gets an idea into her head. I remember the time she was 12 and insisted on going to a party that her father and I knew would not be a good idea so we told her she could not go. She went to her room to sulk and unbeknownst to us, climbed out of her second story window and tried to shimmy down the drainpipe only to end up falling most of the way, breaking her fall with her arm and crawling in the front door with a broken arm. We spent the rest of that Saturday night in the emergency room.
I'm going to have to tread lightly with this one or she may drag poor Peter along behind her as she rides off into the Vegas sunset and we will not be invited. There is still time to figure out the best way to express my concerns without pushing her away but I am going to need her father for this. "Okay, give me a few days to get adjusted to this idea and you still have to tell your father. He's on his business trip in China you know?"
She looked at me as if I'd lost my mind and I felt like I had and, somehow, a daughter too.
"Mom, I know dad's in China. I haven't forgotten everything in the last couple of hours. I was hoping you could tell him before he gets back. You talk to him every morning, right?"
"Oh no, dear, I'm not telling him this. You're on your own with this one," I said, but I knew I'd be on the other line of the phone listening into this conversation.
"Mom, perhaps you could just get him prepared for this news?" she asked.
"I could probably do that, but you have to tell him," I replied. He was going to need some forewarning. Heaven knows I would have appreciated it!
"Okay Mom, I'll let you talk to him tomorrow morning and then I'll call him tomorrow night and tell him. He should be awake then, right?"
"Yes," I said, but I wondered if he'd even be able to sleep after I had prepped him and how was I going to prep him without breaking the news. It would be a delicate operation.
"Well Mom, I'm off to bed. I'm tired and there's a lot to do tomorrow."
"Good night sweetheart and congratulations. It's a very exciting thing," and it was, for her, but not so much for me.
She ran off to bed and I looked down at the romance book in my hand. I closed the book and knew it would be a long time before I read another fluffy romance. There was obviously too much romance floating around this house already!
Check back tomorrow to see how the wedding plans go!