Dresses are slumped over a chair, hangers dangling.
I sit with my coffee looking at these clothes. And then it hits me. My daughter is moving out, leaving home. And she’s not coming back.
Today, these clothes will be moved to a new home that my daughter will share with her new husband two days from now. And when I next see her wearing one of these dresses, she will be a married woman.
And so my daughter’s dresses sit in anticipation while I sit in disbelief. At times, I am so busy juggling the guest list, table settings, photography list, table decorations and place cards, I have little time to think about the depth of the remarkable change that is happening in front of me.
It hits me like a wave, crashing down. And tears fall. I then pick myself up and life goes on, the laundry pile looming, the shopping list growing, the place cards unfinished.
My daughter came into my room last night and cuddled on my bed, just like she always used to. As a toddler, she would run in to show me her latest drawings or share a story about her friends. Spent from the excitement of the day, she would curl up and fall asleep tightly beside me.
And where did the time go? Where is that rough and tumble energized little girl, the one with the dark curls and big brown eyes? My little Tom Boy who once scrambled up trees and somersaulted down hills is all grown up and will be a bride.
She is still beside me, curled up on my bed, a bit stressed from the wedding arrangements and in need of a cuddle. Yet she is all grown up and is about to be a bride and a wife.
I, the mom of the bride, am able to experience the preparation of a Jewish wedding through her young Israeli, Orthodox eyes. And it is beautiful, meaningful, filled with sweetness.
On Thursday, her closest friends organized a dinner party for her where they baked challah together and sang.
She and her fiance do not see each other for a week before the wedding. Last week, she sat with bows, bags and wrapping paper and carefully made him a gift with a note for each day they would be apart.
Last night, when she was out, her fiance snuck over and delivered flowers for her, a note and a chocolate bar for added sweetness.
We are now two days away. My daughter’s bedroom is almost empty, save for some clothing and her wedding dress tucked safely inside the dressmaker’s bag.
Tomorrow night, we go to the mikvah for her ritual bath and then she is good to go. And go she shall. To her love. Towards a new tomorrow.
And how will I feel tomorrow and the next day? How will it be when I first see her as a married woman?
I love you Aviva and Shaarya.
I cannot wait to see you both standing under the chuppah and watching you grow together.