I tell you, we are a ferocious breed, armed to the teeth with soothing comments, anxiety-relieving nostrums, Old Wives Tales and Sound Advice. Foremost amongst which is, "Don't let me hit the gin before noon."
Hannah's wedding on 20th June, was a dream. No-one fell imto the Mill Pond, or did themselves a mischief in the Adventure Playground. The Registrar was brilliant, the weather fantastic and Abigail, aged, three, co-operated way beyond expectations. (She being a free spirit and liable to proclain a firm and loud, "No" at the merest hint of, say, walking in the Bridal Procession.) My role, apart from staying sober enough to remain coherent throughout, was to cluck proudly over my chick, assist with the dressing (I tied the bow on the bridal gown) and do the flowers.
My friend Gail kindly assisted, which was a godsend, and we had a wonderful time. It's rare that we have nearly £300 of flowers to play with, so we made the most of it.
Somewhere mid-afternoon, I realised I'd cut all the ivory roses down ro four inches in length, having mislaid the part of my brain that knew half a dozen had to be saved for Hannah's bouquet. I remembered in good time and knew this was no occasion for panic. The MOB spirit had to pull this rabbit out of the hat and pronto.
The local florist did not have a bouquet holder that would have made use of the shortened roses, which anyway were needed for No 3 Bridesmaid, but she did have six fully opened, beautiful ivory roses. Just six, just enough. Crisis over. There IS a God.
Now I'm gearing up for the Final Appearance. The Last Act - in the truly dramatic setting of Eastnor Castle. Which, as I discovered at the Wedding Fair I attended last summer is a REAL castle with all the correct attributes like moat, gate-house, a park and turrets. Darren and Kate are tying the knot amongst very impressive portraits of someone else's ancestors, which, because they're in oils, is good enough for me.
I am hosting a very important dinner on the evening of the Big Day, a 'Just Us' supper. Ray, myself and our three daughters. I have asked them what their favourite meals were when they were growing up ... Betty Crocker's Southern Fried Chicken with Bacon Wrapped Bananas and Tuna Plait, or Deep Dish Pizza came the fore. Though Kate, wary of suddenly growing out of her wedding gown, has asked only for a salad.
Lucy Hedgehog Cake for dessert, naturally.
It's not about the food, of course. It's a celebration of the beginning of a new era, a recognitiin that our family has grown and changed for ever. Our three lovely daughters have brought three fine sons into our lives, and it's AMAZING. The 'Last Supper' will have a sacremental quality to it too, a thanksgiving that we have somehow raised our children to be confident, caring young women, capable of taking on the world whilst at the same time making a safe haven for their own children in their turn.
I went on a writers course last weekend. The importance of telling our stories and leaving them for our descendents was brought up.
"I communicate with my descendants every week," I ventured. "It's called 'Babysitting."
(I thought that would make you smile! :) )