Monday, July 26, 2010

Mommy knows best?

This weekend my family and I got together with many of my dear friends from college and their families.  What an amazing blessing to reconnect not only with my friends, but also to meet and get to know their kids.  The above picture shows the event, complete with the 8 dear friends, their spouses and our 21 children!  Our kids had so much fun together!  Each one had several other kids his/her age (or close) and they naturally broke into play groups accordingly.  While looking at this picture, and thinking about the fun my kids had with the other kids, I started to wonder whether maybe some of these kids would be friends when they are old enough to choose.  Will any of them go to the same college?  Will Gregory play college baseball with Jesse McGovern or Brennan McFarlane?  Maybe Mary and Maggie Mann or Abby Borwick will be college roommates someday.  Could Ruthie reconnect with Zoe Henke or Maggie Gladding in General Psych?  What about dating and marriage?  How much would I love it if Ruthie married Marshal Wiegand or Mary married Silas McGovern?

If I could choose my kids' friends and spouses, would I do it?  Gregory's oldest friend in the world is Emma (daughter of Alex and Melissa -- not pictured).  He's known her is entire life.  I like to say that Emma was the inspiration for Gregory!!  The day Emma was born, Gary and I went to the hospital.  I held her, and then nine months later -- almost to the day -- Gregory was born.  lol  When Gregory and Emma were younger, they talked a lot about getting married when they grew up.  It seemed to just be a foregone conclusion. Melissa and I tried not to encourage or discourage, but to just rejoice in their friendship.  Now that they're older (Emma is almost 10, and well, you know, Gregory is nine month younger), they talk less and less about getting married.  I'm not sure if they still assume that to be true, and are just embarrassed to say it, or if they really aren't thinking about it anymore.  I would love it if Gregory married Emma!

Emma and Gregory

Ruthie had a great time this weekend, playing for hours with Marshal (son of Mo and Amy).  How fun would that wedding be for me, if they grew up and decided to get married?

Marshal and Ruthie
(also pictured: Mary and Silas)

But does that really happen?  We all love to talk about it, but do you actually know anyone who has a child who married the child of a good friend?  And now, I'm back to my question: Would I want to choose for them, if I could?  More than anything, I want my kids to be happy and healthy, and I want them to grow up to be productive and contributing citizens.  I like to think that I know (or will know) the best path for them to reach those goals (of mine).  Sometimes I'm tempted to think that if I could always choose for them, then they wouldn't have to worry, and could just be happy.  I know, though, that life is about carving out your own way.  Making choices, and living with success and failure, is the way to learn and grow and be happy!  And while I know I would dance an extra little happy dance at the wedding of Gregory and Emma, Ruthie and Marshal, or Mary and Silas, what will really make me happy will be seeing the happiness that comes to them from creating their own paths and making their lives what they dream them to be!


  1. Speaking as Emma's father, she could do a lot worse than Tank! ;)

    I'm pretty confident that I wouldn't want to pick out any of my kid's spouses, mostly because I don't think I'm wise enough to do that. I'm in full agreement with your conclusion - I'd want them to own their life, to rise and fall with the choices they make (once I decide they're old enough to do that, of course. Lol). I'm sure it will be awfully hard to stand by and watch, trying to be a good advisor without imposing my will, but I think it's the best way.

    I don't think I do know of any family friends who eventually had kids marry each other. That being said, how much fun would it be to have you as in-laws? :)

  2. So true, Alex! I agree with you that I'm actually not wise enough to choose for them. BUT if we were in-laws, we could ALL do that extra little happy dance! :)

  3. I think my mom has a few of those connections. (i.e. her friend's kid married her nephew)and I know there is several of those examples in the GC community. My nephew and niece (brother and sister) married brother and sister. I always thought it was cool, but I also remember wanting to get OUT of that scene before I went to GC! (However, I must say that I appreciated all the fun connections when I went there). I, of course, would be thrilled if Silas married Mary! :-) I think there are probably some advantages to arranged marriages, and places where they still do that! But here in the US, it seems very beneficial to letting our kids make those important decisions on their own! Hmmmm... food for thought! :-)

  4. I love to do the extra little happy dance with you, too, Jinny! :)