Back in December, I mentioned that our friends had asked to get married in our cottage gardens this spring. I also mentioned how very excited I was about this upcoming project. What I didn't mention was a little behind-the-scenes mental wrestling regarding a certain aspect of this situation. Namely, my mother.
I love my mother. She is a wonderful woman. She has been my greatest teacher, biggest fan, and my moral (and financial) support through thick and thin. Love, love my mom. She is also creative and a fantastic gardener. She's got so many great qualities that it would take aeons to list them here.
When we accepted the request to host the wedding, my first thought was, "If I mention this to my mom, she's going to want to come up here and help." Sure enough, my email mentioning the wedding was immediately replied to with "I can come up and help!" If some of you are wondering why I didn't just not mention it, that's only because you don't know my mom. Ever heard of ESP and "eyes in the back of her head"? She invented them.
As I was rather conflicted about the whole thing, I did not respond to that offer. I answered her email with lots of other things to talk about, but did not return to that particular topic of conversation.
And now - The Pros and Cons:
Pro: My mom is very energetic and creative, and great with flowers.
Con: My house has one bed. When my mom visits, she gets the bed, even though she insists it's fine if she sleeps on the couch (it's not - she has back problems, and the couch is a 1941 Duncan Phyfe, not suited for sleeping on). The thought of spending the week before the wedding sleeping on the floor or a saggy air mattress will have me absolutely snarling and sore by the happy day, on which I also have to take the wedding photos, and will need to be able to crouch and kneel and bend and lean to get the "money shots".
Pro: It would make my mom feel included and happy to be asked to help.
Con: My mother and I both have "the control gene" - in spades. Honestly, I want this project to be mine. It's my garden, and I want to work with the bride, get her ideas, and then execute the plan. I don't want to spend the week arguing with my mother about the details. If this wedding were a movie, and the credits were rolling, I want them to read "Wedding garden decor........ Marcheline". Selfish, yes, but honest at least.
Pro: It would actually be a help (as long as she helps me do what I want to do) to have an extra set of hands to get things done, as I'm pretty sure Bear does not have vacation that week. I'm pretty sure Bear wishes he was going to be in Alaska that week, come to think of it.
Con: The bride and groom both have very large families. They have decided to pare the invitation list down to thirty people. Just their parents, siblings, and their closest friends. They have not invited their grandparents, or any of the extended and attached family. Just after the wedding, they are taking us all to dinner here in town, then to the bride's mom's house for a small reception party.
Herein lies the main problem. The bride and groom are cutting most of their family out of the wedding festivities, so I can't very well ask them to include my mother in the dinner and etc. But how, then, can I have her here, working her ass off for a week to prepare for the wedding, and then toodle off to the dinner and party and leave her behind? It's just not right.
Considering all of this gave me a headache, and my initial reaction was to just say NO. True, this would leave me with a massive project to complete nearly single-handedly, but I sort of love that kind of thing.
Over the past couple of weeks I've just been letting all these thoughts marinate in my brain, and I think I've changed my mind. I have been thinking a lot about family, and how many of us are no longer around, and quite a few people where I work have recently lost their parents and grandparents, and it occurs to me that I may have been a completely selfish silage heap about the whole thing.
Today is my "Saturday" and I am hoping to get in a phone call to my mother. She's 71, but runs around like a spring chicken. Couldn't talk to her last night because she was at a classical concert, and this morning she's taking a friend in for medical testing (she was a nurse for 25 years, so she's the go-to medical assistant for all her friends and family).
What I'm going to do, instead of just saying "yes" or "no" is lay all the facts out on the table for both of us to sort through. I will tell her that I would love her company and her insight and her creativity, and also point out the parts that I can't quite get around. Hopefully we will either find a way around the "cons" or decide together that perhaps it would be better if I just handle the project on my own.
I'm wondering if I could ask the wedding couple if I could pay them for my mom's dinner, so that she could come along with us... or would that still be considered poor form because members of their family are not invited? Or, since we are hosting their wedding and will be doing all the work and decorations and photography and saving them a location fee and a photographer's fee, are we entitled to a bit of reciprocity?
Please, Dear Readers, do chime in and let me know what you think.