The invitations to daughter S's wedding have now been sent out, and people have begun to reply. The RSVP is web based, so one or two people have had problems getting onto the website (could be their browser, could be that they're older), but it seems to be going smoothly in general.
I had a chat with S's fiance B's mum during the week and we discussed clothes. I've got one of my 'outfits' in the sales, but am not sure which wedding to wear it to yet. B's mum will wear a sari and I know will look stunning. My outfit is a traditional 'mother of the bride/groom' two piece. We talked about various other issues to do with food and arrangements and we're both feeling quite excited. We agreed that our children are a 'practical couple'. We first met when S and B had just started going out. At first it was just a short chat, but it progressed to having a meal together and we've now met several times and all get on really well. I'm looking forward to continuing to become friends, and it will be particularly fun because we're from different cultures and it's interesting learning about them.
Son G's parents live in another country and we've not yet met, only Skyped, but by a series of coincidences members of our family have met them in the past and in fact pushed K in her buggy when she was a small child. So there will be some interesting reunions at their wedding, and I'm hoping we'll also have the chance to get to know each other whilst they're here for the wedding.
All the new relationships are exciting but I also feel a bit daunted. Am I behaving in the way an 'in-law' should? Am I friendly enough, or too friendly? I've always felt my social skills aren't great, so I hope I get it right.
These new relationships are a kind of consolation for those that are changing so radically - our relationships with our children. They will leave the nest and start building their own nests, but our empty nest will sometimes fill up with the new friends and family we are getting to know.
We are also filling the space with other things. We've booked a holiday after the two weddings are over (my boss thought it hilarious that they are happening within a week of each other, but was very understanding about giving me time off around the weddings, and then soon afterwards for a holiday to recover!). I'm involving myself in organising a monthly 'Cafe Church'. And there are my two book clubs, which continue to thrive - one of them is still growing, with a new neighbour coming to the next one.
I'm also making the most of my time with the two children while they're still here. G's living here this year, and the other night I played a favourite childhood game with him - Ocean Trader. He beat me spectacularly as he always used to. With S I've started attending a series of evenings on different types of spirituality, which I'll write about another time. And we'll soon be attending a 'felting' workshop where we plan to make a bag for my mother.
But a part of me still feels a little bit sad. The invitations have gone out - it's really happening. Everything will change soon.