When your children are small and life is a bit chaotic (it was for us) you think about prom days and wedding days here and there. Actually when we lived in NJ we had like a split level house with stairs leading up to the bedrooms. I watched Alyssa then all of 2 and a half years old walk down those stairs in her Easter dress and thought ahead to watching her walk down the stairs as a young woman. That was one of the reasons we left NJ, I couldn’t picture my daughter walking down those stairs in a prom or wedding gown, like it just didn’t fit my vision for the future.
So anyway…back in NY and I’ve had the pleasure of watching both my older girls emerge from our house dressed and made up for their proms and most recently; Alyssa coming home with her bridal hair from the salon and then watch as one of her very talented bridesmaids apply her makeup all in my dining room. I’m glad I was able to be a part of and witness this for my daughter. I don’t remember Alyssa walking down my stairs with her wedding gown on. The photographer and videographer were here taking picture and video; but it’s ok I’m sure I’ll see a photo or video of the grand event I’ve pictured in my mind for so many years.
It’s a week after the wedding and Tommy and I have come to accept the fact that she’s not coming “home.” Alyssa has changed her name on social media to her married name. It’s sweet, and her new name flows, like the two names are meant to be together. I miss my yaya (the nickname Thomas gave Alyssa when she was very young). I get melancholy some days, I’m not sad that she’s married and now has her own little family and now much bigger extended family. It’s more like I just miss *her*. I like my children, I’ve mentioned many times that I like hanging out with them. They make me smile and they make me laugh. When I get melancholy that Alyssa is now married living with Sam I think back to her decision to not leave home for college and attend our local city university. God gave me those years with her to witness the growth and strides she made during those four years. And I’m proud of her for graduating on time, she was determined to not take extra semesters to finish her degree.
Lelly is home with us and for that I’m thrilled. We always called her “Lelly bird” because she was my smallest baby. She’s is petite still. And we also called her “the feel good baby” because she smiled all the time and when you held her you had to smile back. She makes me laugh like no other. Lelly really has a gift for humor and I appreciate that gift. I can laugh at her impressions of others and even when she turns her attention to me and calls me out on my quirks and habits; I still laugh. She’s the only child of mine that my father in law said looks like his mother. I’m glad she does resemble her because we have no pictures of that side of the family.
So life goes on after a wedding. I’m glad Alyssa and Sam didn’t have a long engagement otherwise we would all be experiencing that let down feeling after a big event. There really wasn’t time to get a huge build up since their engagement was 8 months. It all went so quick and so lovely I can’t picture it for them any other way. Samantha is in the process of moving up to Alyssa’s old room which is a change I’ll have to get used to. Maybe for once we’ll have an actual guest room or home office out of Samantha’s old room. Now my wheels are turning… there’s always something going on.
Alyssa and Sam were married yesterday. The weather was perfect for March; a sunny, cool clear day. The maid of honor and bridesmaids were beautiful, Sam and his best man and groomsman were unbelievably handsome and my daughter made a stunning bride. I know I am prejudiced she is my daughter but I also know what a pretty young woman she is.
I teared up a little when she came walking down the aisle with Tommy and also when he officially gave her away and then I was fine, caught up in the lovely ceremony Pastor Ed gave. We took pictures outside the church and discovered that Thomas who did attend the church ceremony with one of his group home staff members named Laura just wasn’t feeling it; he would not be going to the reception. He was beginning to melt down and Tommy and I and Laura decided the best course of action was to get Thomas back to the group home. It’s not the plan we wanted but it was the best plan for the situation we faced.
On to the reception! My mom drove Tommy and I and Samantha and my brother in law Vinny from the church to the venue. We had an amazing and wonderful time! It was great to be a guest at a large party and mingle and chat and drink. It’s funny, you spend so much time being the host for various parties for your children and then all of a sudden you’re a guest at their wedding! People were asking me details about the reception and photographer, etc… and I did not have the answers. Why? Because it wasn’t *my* wedding, it was my daughter and Sam’s wedding and they planned the whole thing themselves. So I was more than happy to answer “I don’t know” because I really did not know.
We made our way up to the upper floor after the cocktail hour was over. The DJ introduced the bridal party then the big into of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Corso! They both were radiant and proud, such a great moment! They danced their first dance and I loved it, then Tommy danced with Alyssa and I cried. It was too much, I kept picturing this little girl with big hair talking to me, running down the street. Omg it was too much. After they were done I threw my arms around my beautiful daughter and ugly cried telling her how much I love her. “I love you too” Alyssa answered all calm, just like she’s always said to me.
It was an amazing night, we were able to see family and talk and catch up. My mother in law was able to leave the nursing home and attend the wedding. We haven’t seen my mother in law in over a year so that was really great.
It’s an odd feeling giving your daughter away. I know she loves Sam and he adores her. It’s not that I’m worried she’ll be unhappy it’s more a melancholy feeling. It’s so true that the days are long but the years are short. I remember when everyone was in grammar school, time just seemed to drag and I thought we would be at that stage forever. Then the next thing I knew Alyssa was in high school and the next 4 years flew by like crazy! I’m going to miss seeing her everyday. They don’t live far thank God and we will still text and talk just about everyday. But it’s different. And that’s ok. Sam and Alyssa are they’re own family and I’m so so happy for them. Their future is very bright!
Alyssa is our oldest girl. She’s two years younger than Thomas, and with him being special needs and the first girl she takes on more of an oldest child personality than anything else. Well this young woman is going to be married in less than 2 weeks! It’s amazing. She and Sam her fiancé have been together since they were about 15-16 years old. And we adore Sam. He’s such a great guy. He talks to you, actually talks! About anything, work, sports, you name it.
Sam waited to propose until after Alyssa graduated college. He even asked Tommy’s blessing before he proposed. Totally sweet and traditional. I’m excited for them. Excited for them to be their own little family. For them to travel together and make even more memories than they already have.
I know I’m not losing my daughter. This is a shift in our relationship. I already talk to her and have fun with her as an adult although she’ll always be my daughter. I’ll forever be thankful for Alyssa. After so much of the unknown that went on with Thomas all the tests and doctors; along comes this perfectly, perfect, typical baby girl. Alyssa was an amazing baby. Not because she was so advanced and a genius and read by the time she was a year old (haha no…) but because she met every milestone at the exact time she was supposed to. She was a gift from God to show me how wonderful and magical a typical child could be. And she did it all exactly when she was supposed to.
My Alyssa is smart and beautiful and sweet and empathetic and thoughtful and everything anyone could ever ask for in their first born daughter. I was telling myself I’m not going to cry when she walks down the aisle. Nope, not going to cry. But now writing this, I’m not so sure. And why will I be crying? Is it because she’s still meeting those milestones so perfectly? Or because I’ll be so happy for her to be marrying such a wonderful young man who I know loves her so very much. Hard to tell. Maybe waterproof mascara is the way to go.