The day after is the best…

At some point in my life I realized something disconcerting. My best day of the year had changed. It wasn’t Christmas anymore, it was the day after.

The day after Christmas is slow. Everyone gets up late, perhaps wincing a bit. We pour coffee, and tea, and sneak a breakfast slice of leftover pumpkin cheesecake. We pretend to pick up a bit; then sigh; settle down with some of Christmas books and magazines; and drowse until someone (usually my husband) volunteers to fix a lunch of grilled turkey sandwiches…

I felt the same way the day after my daughters’ wedding.

We got up in the hotel where the reception had been held. Actually, my husband, always an early riser, got up and wandered about until such time as he dared to call me, from his cell in the lobby, with promises of tea and food. This morning he had an offer I could not refuse. Our daughter, Mrs. Slater, was up and requesting that we join her and Mr. Slater at breakfast.

I hurried down to the lobby.

Mrs. Slater was bright-eyed, Mr. Slater…not so much. His parents also joined us, and we all engaged in a vigorous round of mutual congratulations.

“Best. Wedding. Ever.” someone posted on FaceBook and we all preened.

Of course, not everything had gone perfectly.

I had been volunteered to provide “Words of Wisdom” to the couple during the church ceremony and this may not have been the optimal choice. My husband assured me just prior to the ceremony that a printout of my ‘Words’ would be strategically placed on the podium, and all I had to do was walk up and read.

Unfortunately he forgot to tell me which podium. And, as I left the first podium looking desperately for my Words, and climbed up the second podium, my high heel sandal fell off my foot, right in front of 150 wedding guests. Apparently, it was to be ‘Words of Wisdom’ delivered by one of the three stooges.

Still, on this, the blessed day after, my daughter had nothing but gracious words to describe the incident.

“Mom, I was so nervous in the church, but once you lost your shoe, I just relaxed.”

“Your dance…” I said admiringly to Tracy and Ryan.

“Yeah.” They smiled. “The death drop. Our dance instructor told us we were good, but not do it if we were comfortable. He said he thought we could pull it off and once we tried it we said ‘Oh yeah, yhe death drop is definitely in’.”

“And that spontaneous mass musical interlude on the dance floor when the DJ played the song from Newies?” I cooed. “I hope someone filmed that.”

“We were all Bishop Feehan theater people.” The couple acknowledged.

“And the father-daughter dance?” I sniffed. “Sunrise, Sunset?…I didn’t cry…well I almost cried.”

“The pastor and his wife danced up a storm.” My husband commented.

“It was a good wedding.” I sighed contentedly. “More fruit and pasty from the buffet?”

“And…what about that Grandma Peg?” We mused.

“Poor John…when she caught the bridal flowers and he got the garter…and all the Woodard brothers gathered around him…”

“Yeah…his girlfriend came rushing up…Grandma Peg just sat there with that Cheshire cat smile…there was no way anyone was going to stop this from playing out…”

“Still, the DJ’s suggestion for a body-stunt double using the girlfriend in place of Grandma Peg was pretty merciful…” we mused.

“Should I get more pastries?” I asked.

“I was afraid people would stop dancing…” said Tracy “there was a brief lull, and then everybody danced like mad until we all got kicked out…Woodards, and Slaters, can dance…”

“Best. Wedding. Ever.”

We all sighed. It was the day after. All that worry and stress had all been worthwhile. Everything had gone well. We rocked. The kids were good and married, and headed toward a very well-deserved vacation in the Dominican Republic. Meanwhile my husband and I were headed home to a quiet house with no one in it but us, and nothing we needed to do except congratulate each other for having such great kids.

I sighed happily and thought, to myself, that the best day of a mother’s life is the day after her daughters’ wedding.

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