August 22, 2017

Mother of the Bride

My daughter married her sweetheart this past June. As you can see, we felt full of joy (that's as joyful as Himself ever looks when someone makes him wear a suit and tie)...

 I was overwhelmed by the majesty of this bride, my deep love for our new son-in-law, and their willingness to stand beneath the chuppah with my own beloved Rabbi Diana.
My return trip back up the aisle ended with my head buried against  my own beloved's mighty chest, sobbing for reasons I still can not explain.

While I enjoyed my fleeting status as Mother of the Bride, I admit that I mostly felt confused about what I was supposed to do. After all, this bride is 31 and runs one of Chicago's premier restaurant corporations. Her name opens slots in reservation books, triggers an onslaught of unordered appetizers and desserts "from the Chef," and results in a check that is two decimal places to the left of what it should be.

Me, I still don't know for sure which side the forks go on.

This bride is surrounded by girlfriends her own age who love her fiercely AND who know their way around stuff like karaoke bashes, nail artists,and after parties.
My version of an after-party is unhooking my bra and climbing into bed at 9 pm with two dogs and a British mystery.

Most of these women entered my life as preteens in Joe Boxer pajamas glued to scary movies rented by the dozen from Blockbuster. We cherish one another and while they lovingly included me wherever appropriate, it felt strange that on this most momentous occasion of my daughter's life, it was clear that I was not of Them. Yeah, I could be disqualified from their company just on the basis of their fresh skin and lovely bodies. But there's more: they know my daughter in ways that I never will.  That is as it should be. After all, she doesn't know what my own dear friends know about me.

Nor should she.

I just never saw it so clearly before.

So only now, two months later, do I see that her wedding was a momentous occasion in my life as well. The moment I came face to face with my daughter completely separate from myself, completely separate from all the memories stacked up within my heart, in the place called "motherhood."

Being able to say goodbye to my delusion of primacy in her life has opened me to a new world.  A world where It turns out my little Thing One is her own woman. Beautiful and poised,  compassionate and deeply committed to everyone she loves.

And now, I would like you to meet her: Elana Stefanie Green Kopp.


  1. Joy, love and beauty beaming from these photos: Mother, Bride, Father, Husband, Friends, united in happiness. Simply, looking at these photos of this most special day is to celebrate family, the future and love abounding. Elana glows in her beauty and happiness. You, dear Mother of the Bride glow in your love and pride and may I say that you both have the most terrific sense of shoe styles. Thanks for letting us share in this day of coming together.

  2. Thanks, Marti. Yeah, we both dig shoes but I have noticed an inverse relationship between the age of the wearer and the height of the heels.

  3. as always, you find the deep heart, and write that, exquisitely and with a straight forward lean....

    it's something, isn't it. how they have always been who they Are but
    then suddenly become full bloom.

    Beauty FULL daughter, Beauty full You...may all things Good Unfold.

    1. When I'm writing, I really do see you sitting across from me, saying "what is the REAL truth here?"

      Maybe they are always in bloom, its just that the watchers can finally see.

  4. Julie, I came across you blog and saw this entry about Elana's wedding, which moved me to tears. Mazal tov -- to her and her beloved, and to you. Quite an amazing journey! May it continue and be blessed with much, much joy! Marc Margolius

    1. Oh my oh my oh my. How wonderful to hear from you after so many years--I see your name often as I make my way through the many offerings at IJS and have wanted to connect often. Your words mean so much to me, particularly since you were there when she entered the mikvah as a baby!!! And now it ust occurs to me you may not even know you know me from Beth Am days, where I was Julie Green!


  5. As always you are able to put into words what truly matters. With your specific brand of humor and compassion, making the whole not only personal but universal as well. I feel as if I know you and yours more and more. Love to you

  6. How lovely your daughter is and how proud you must be, even as you detach from your "delusion of primacy". It is so hard to know where the boundaries are in a mother/child relationship, especially because they continue to shift as the child grows and matures. I am glad that you have a clearer view of yourself in your daughter's life now and very glad that you were able to share such a joyful day. My best wishes to the happy couple!

    1. Thanks, Dana. I am actually now pretty well adjusted (using the term loosely)and simply besotted with how much life there is beyond motherhood.