Saturday, May 6, 2017

I hate blubbering in public! ~ By Leah St. James

I can’t recall if I’ve mentioned before, but my younger son is getting married in July. As the Mother of the Groom (MoG, as I call myself), my involvement in the wedding planning has been fairly nonexistent in the year or so since the couple set the date. Things have ramped up in the past few weeks as the MoB (Mother of the Bride) asked for some help, which I’m happy to give. Plus I still have to find a venue for the rehearsal dinner which will be in a town where the couple grew up, 400-something miles away...meaning I can’t get there in advance to check it out... Oh, and I still have to buy a dress.

But it's all good. It's a happy stressful. Here's a picture from their Senior Prom, more than ten years ago, and they're still together. Aren't they cute?


Anyway, with all that on my mind, I had completely forgotten about the one part of the big event where I’ll really be in the spotlight–the part where my son and I do the groom/mother dance.

I realized this, ironically, when I was riding with him on the trip that I wrote about last month. We were on the way home with my sister, listening to his play list on his iPod, when I said, “Hey, (Son No. 2), do we have to pick a song to dance to for your wedding?” (I think there was a hint of panic in my voice.) “Uh...yeah....I guess so,” he answered, equally enthused.

Neither of us likes being in the spotlight, and neither of us is a skilled dancer. The chances of us breaking into one of those choreographed routines posted on YouTube are probably zero, so picture us swaying to some ballad in the middle of an empty dance floor for an interminable three or four minutes ... if not longer depending on which song we pick...

Determined to tackle this task head on, I pulled out my phone and started Googling “Mother/son dance songs for weddings.” Of course I got pages of suggestions and started scrolling through one that said “Top 50 mother/song dance songs for weddings.” Certainly I could find a song among 50!

First on the list: Josh Groban’s “You Lift Me Up.” Hmm...it’s a nice song, but doesn’t really give me a mother/son vibe.

Next was “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. It’s one of my favorite songs by Diana Ross and the Supremes, but again, not a mother/son song, to me.

On I searched through a lengthy list of songs by country music artists. All seemed perfectly acceptable, but my son really, really loathes country music, so they were out.

Next came some pop groups like Boyz 2 Men. My son hates pop music.

Moving on... “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo'Ole. Okay, it has an island-type beat (which makes sense since he’s Hawaiian), which my son (oddly) does love. Unfortunately...he HATES The Wizard of Oz!

Good grief, I thought as I continued scrolling. There must be a song...

Finally my eyes lit on “Child of Mine” by Carole King.

“I love Carol King!” I announced as I clicked on the YouTube video.



I listened to the lyrics (briefly excerpted here):

“Although you see the world
Different from me
Sometimes I can touch upon
The wonders that you see
All the new colors
And pictures you’ve designed
Oh yes, sweet darling
So glad you are a child of mine...”

Oh dear...my chest tightened, my eyes began to fill, and just that fast I burst into tears. “Are you CRYING, Mom?” the object of my emotion shouted from the front seat. I couldn’t answer so my sister passed a handful of tissues back to me. They didn’t help.

I kid you not, I cried like that for ten straight minutes...then I stopped for a few and started crying some more. I’m crying now just thinking about it. (Who was it who wrote the blog a few weeks back about criers??)

Obviously sentimental songs are out, which probably means ballads are out. Which means we might have to do one of those choreographed mother/son dances that will keep me so busy and focused I won’t think about the fact that my BABY is GETTING MARRIED!

I’m sure everything will be fine. I’m sure as I’m blubbering in front of all these people, and my face mottles, my nose swells and turns an unattractive shade of burgundy, everyone will understand. Right?

Just in case...any of you who’ve married off your sons and had to go through this, HELP! Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Leah writes stories of mystery and romance, good and evil and the power of love. She blogs here on the 6th and 22nd of the month and promises to share pictures of the mother/son wedding dance when the time comes, as long as they don’t show her face. 

Visit Leah at LeahStJames.com or on Facebook at Facebook.com/leahstjames

21 comments:

Andrea Downing said...

Well, as a MOB in some 22 days, I can't help. We're not doing father/daughter or mother/son dances, it's a very untraditional wedding in that respect. But I'll tell you, at the point you wrote you started crying, so did I... It's obviously catching! But do send photos Leah, please!

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Pick the Carole King song and then prepare a list of jokes to whisper to your son while you dance. Between trying to recall the punch line and watching his shocked face as lovingly look in his eyes and gobsmack him with a few zingers, there will be no time for crying. Especially if you get the punch lines mixed up and son #2 (in birth order only) starts laughing like crazy...and so do you.

I don't recall the song my baby boy and I danced to. Mike, in his typical fashion, talked about the food and I nodded.

Jannine Gallant said...

You'll find the perfect song. I remember we did the groom/mother and bride/father dance together so we weren't out there alone feeling awkward. The the rest of the wedding party joined in after the first verse of the song to share the spotlight. We were more comfortable with that. Have fun...and you're allowed to cry!

Alison Henderson said...

So many decisions! I'm sorry, I can't help you with the song choice. I'm the kind of person who cries at Wal-Mart openings. It's a good thing I don't have a boy!

Leah St. James said...

Oh Andi..I'm sorry! But it does get you, doesn't it??? Your daughter's wedding sounds unique, and wonderfully so. Looking forward to your pictures1

Leah St. James said...

I knew you'd have some great advice, Vonnie! We did finally pick a song. It's not the Carole King one, but it is sentimental. I am going to have to start stocking up on jokes! (I can see my son talking about the food, too!)

Leah St. James said...

We did find the perfect song, Jannince...after dozens of hours scouring YouTube, and it's long. I told my son that we're going to open up the dance floor to others after the first couple minutes. That's long enough for me! He agreed.

Leah St. James said...

Alison, I knew I'd be weepy, but I didn't expect to burst into tears just listening to song choices! I've got it bad. :-) I'm glad I'm not the only Walmart-weeper.

Rolynn Anderson said...

Jude Law in The Holiday (the movie). He made me feel better about being a weeper. Hell, I weep at the ends of novels because I'm GUESSING it's going to be sad. I teared up for 80% to end of A Man Called Ove (Read this book!). Anyway, it's good to figure out why you're crying...then allow some time for a good bout. After that, one must consider the crowd's needs and the awfulness of dripping mascara...and the joy of the bride and groom. It's their day...they are finally on their own...smile!

Leah St. James said...

I'll need to watch that movie again, Rolynn. And I agree, it's important to let it all out...get it out of your system. I plan to listen to the song over and over until I'm desensitized to it. That's the theory anyway! The thought of dripping mascara is hopefully enough to freeze the tears!

Linda Smith said...

My sister-in-law and nephew danced the 'Hokey Pokey'. When he was a little boy he would always perform that dance for the family

Margo Hoornstra said...

Enjoy the moments, Leah. I've been MoB twice and MoG once so far. My husband danced with our daughters at their weddings, my oldest son and I didn't at his. Now my youngest son is engaged. We'll see what he decides. Like Vonnie, we'd talk about the food. I like the idea of inviting others to dance a few bars into the song. Much less pressure to perform. Then again, the Hokey Pokey did cross my mind.

Leah St. James said...

Now that sounds fun, Linda! I might have to revisit the song idea and look for something fun, that's not pop or country. :-) Thinking....

Leah St. James said...

Another vote for hokey pokey, Margo? Hmmmm... Whatever we finally pick, I'm definitely going to limit our mother/son time in the spotlight! I'll be interested to hear what your son decides to do on the dance!

Diane Burton said...

I'm sure whatever you decide, Leah, will be lovely. Enjoy. Love Vonnie's idea of jokes. I wish we'd limited our time alone on the dance floor and invited others to join us at Son's wedding. He picked the song--I think it was a John Denver song but don't remember. Anyway, my back started killing me as the song went on forever. Finally, I told him I had to sit down then walked off the floor. I couldn't stand (literally) another moment. He signaled the DJ to stop playing. I'm sure it looked like we'd argued or something. Afterward I wished I'd waited until he cut off the song. Talk about embarrassing.

Brenda Whiteside said...

I can't remember the song and it wasn't too planned. The MoB had everything so controlled and all geared to the B side of the family that we were sideliners. Don't get me started on that! Plus, the "kids" were older and controlled some of what went on. But here's the thing with me. I'm a crier too, but I'd never danced with my son before, so I was kind of kiddy and had fun with it.

Leah St. James said...

That sounds so uncomfortable, Diane! I'm sure people didn't think you were arguing! Maybe they thought you were overcome with emotion, like I fear! I do appreciate your advice, though. I'm definitely opting for a short "solo" and inviting others fairly quickly!

Leah St. James said...

Ugh, Brenda! That would steam me. We haven't been controlled, but sometimes I do feel a bit left out. Like, uh...hello? We did contribute the groom to this equation you know! :-) At least I get to pick the rehearsal dinner, which is all set, thank goodness! After reading all the comments of the other MoGs, I'm feeling much more confident that I'll be able to have fun with this! :-) Thank you.

Alicia Dean said...

Awww, those lyrics made me weepy too! I do have a son, but I'm not sure he'll ever get married. If he does, I'm not sure we'll have a mother/son dance. But, I will probably be a mess! I'm sure your son's wedding will be lovely, and yes, they are so adorable in that pic!

Donna Michaels said...

I'm sure whatever you decide will be great, Leah! Five years ago, (wow, can't believe it's been that long already) I went through the same process as my son prepared for his wedding. We eventually ended up with "You're My Best Friend" from Queen, because we both love Queen. I like to think he inherited that love from me. :-) I still tear up when I hear it today.

{{Hugs}} Wishing you and your son and his bride a very happy wedding day. You'll do great!

Leah St. James said...

Thanks, Ally and Donna, for the encouragement! Right now I'm waffling between The Pretenders' version of Bob Dylan's Forever Young and Sheryl Crow's version of Sweet Child O' Mind (yes...Guns 'N Roses!) :-)