I had two matrons of honor. There was no possible way to choose between Meg and Bean. They were both very influential in my life. I shared secrets (different secrets) with both of them. Both of my sisters were married with all of their children on my wedding day. Meg has four. Bean has triplets. I looked up to them as Moms.
They each gave a toast. And every so often I think about their words (no, really - I do!) as I go about my life. Recently, Bean's toast is at the forefront of my mind. At the time of our wedding, her daughters had a library book out. A book called "Cherry Pies and Lullabies" by Lynn Reiser. Bean's toast was centered around this book. On the inside flap...something she read at the reception...it said,
"This is a book about everyday love. It is a book that says how you do a thing is not what matters. What matters is that you do it with love. And love - freely given and joyously received - is what family customs and families are all about."
Brian recently discovered this book. It has been in Gavin's room in his book display since I was pregnant with him five years ago. A treasured book that has so much sentimental value. It is now Brian's "go to" book. I have read "Cherry Pies and Lullabies" to him every night and every afternoon for the last week and a half. And each time I finish...I choke back my tears. And there is a reason why.
Here is one of the sections:
My great-grandmother baked a cherry pie for my grandmother;
my grandmother baked a cherry pie for my mother;
my mother baked a cherry pie for me;
and I baked a cherry pie for my bear.
Every time it was the same...but different.
Why does it get to me? Because everyone has to find their own way. On my wedding day I had visions of the mother I would be - and it looked very similar to my sisters' model. But instead - I am taking my own journey with my own children. It is mostly the same - as our recipe came from our amazing Mom. But it's different.
When I think of my evolution as a Mommy - I am grateful for all that was passed down to me from generation to generation. I feel like I come from a line of strong, trailblazing women. Women who aren't afraid to speak up and be the Moms they want to be.
I hope that you are able to embrace your own evolution as a Mom (or a Dad! or a person!). Don't let anyone else's judgements or unsolicited opinions set you off your track. Because everyone's life journey is the same...but different, isn't it? Just as the book says, "How you do things doesn't matter. What matters is that you do it with love."
No one - no one - should make you feel like you are on the wrong journey. If it's yours...it's right.