There are words and emotions I want to say and spell out, but they won't form into a coherent whole. I'm going to try anyway.
My oldest daughter is married and has had her first child. My first grandbaby. It's amazing and wonderful and challenging and hard. She's struggling with college and a baby who won't sleep. The hormones of her post-partum female body are not making things any easier.
I remember that stage. It's hard to watch her struggle. It's also impossible not to get goofy happy about that little life she's brought into the world who I love so much.
She has a husband who adores, cherishes, and loves her. She hates it when she cannot sleep next to him and is still completely besotted, even when her marriage gets hard.
My second daughter is now engaged. She's changing colleges so she can live near him until they get married. When, we don't know for sure. I hope sooner rather than later, but we'll see.
Again, this daughter has a guy who absolutely adores her. She misses him when they are apart. She has given him her whole heart, and he's earned it.
I love that these guys love my daughters. That they build each other up, that they support each other's goals. I've watched them compromise, and work together to face challenges. Ok, granted, a whole year of marriage for child #1 is not a whole lot of time. But it's a very healthy start, I think.
Child #2 isn't even in a marriage yet, but she's had relationship practice before this. And oh my goodness did she sample the dating pool. The way she and her fiance have faced their differences and their situations has been impressive and amazing to me.
The point I'm trying to get at, I think, is that I am so very glad that my girls have ended up with young men who love them, respect them, and who are compassionate and caring about their feelings, their goals, and who they are.
I hope my other three daughters end up with men like that. I hope my son grows up to be a man like that.
I know things don't always work out. I know, quite well, that some people have well-concealed masks that aren't discovered until after the wedding vows have been said.
I sincerely and desperately hope that my girls have keepers. That they have chosen wisely and that their mates have chosen well in return. I hope my girls are just as amazing to their men.
I wish for them all the happiness that it's possible to have. Life will not be kind. Every single one of my kids is going to have ups, downs, and roller-coaster rides from hell. Marriage is an opportunity to become a master at forgiveness and compromise. It's certainly not easy.
I hope for my girls that it's worth it.
We all know that people change. One or the other in the unions are capable of making dumb and hurtful choices. Things happen. Not all marriages last; some last when they shouldn't.
I hope. I hope that these pieces of my heart walking around out there in the world get their happy endings.