The bridal party stretched before me, picture-perfect, words of promise and endearment mingling with the buzz of bumblebees courting lavender.
Meanwhile, two pint-size pink puffs frolicked stage right, giggling with the effort to leap and pluck leaves from a silently weeping willow. One of those puffs was mine.
The audience politely ignored their merriment, though in my mind, I couldn’t help but think there were a few out there wondering why the parents weren’t “doing something about those kids.” Perhaps it was all in my head… ghosts from weddings past rudely inviting themselves into an otherwise lovely present.
Twice I came a millisecond from leaping up and whisking her away, but finally concluded that the addition of a frazzled mom on the scene would only up the ante on the ruffled distraction factor.
Later, kind parents (apparently much more laid back than I) chuckled and assured me no one had a problem with a toddler being a toddler. This continued throughout the evening … as I found myself fretting over cherry stains … and ripped tulle … and the elusive “nice” family photo always just out of grasp.
Meanwhile, I gazed with envy as other parents sipped wine, laughed, and let their kids scamper delightedly in a danger vortex of country roads, bee-coated bushes, and electric fences.
“Am I a bad mom?” I wondered to myself. “Why can’t I just let my kid be a kid?”
I truly want to let go, but how? Any tips? Because I do NOT want to be a helicopter parent, and in that moment, I caught a glimpse of myself with propellers firmly on.
Help … ?