Friday, August 24, 2012


by Zinta Aistars

Lorena all grown up but still swinging

Comes that moment that all parents stand slapped and stunned, asking: "But when? When did my baby grow up?"

Wasn't it just a moment ago that I was pushing her on a swing? Little Blondie, gold pig tails flying, round cheeks rosy with giggly grins? 

It's been some time now since I started to see my baby girl as a grown woman. She's wise. She's strong. She's a survivor. She's accomplished. I am as inclined to go to her for advice as she is to come to me. That's my girl, my Skuky, the nickname I've had for her since babyhood, a variation on the Latvian word for "little gal." And I love, and deeply respect, the woman she's grown to be.

Now, however, another milestone is about to take place. On September 1, my baby girl is going to be married. Fine man, that Derek. Easy to warm up to, fit into the family at first meeting. I was pleased to see my daughter find a good match for her life companion. Another moment for a mama's deep sigh of relief. Baby will be just fine.

Only we have that wedding to get through first.

All month I've been busily getting my new business established, a writing and editing service called Z Word, LLC. All of my focus was on setting up the business end of it, meeting with an accountant and financial adviser, scheduling interviews and meetings, collecting writing assignments from different sources, doing photo shoots and recording on-air author interviews and sitting in on video shoots, and then, the actual writing. I am loving this freelance lifestyle, but it's no less busy than the life I led before, just more flexible.

Today, I finished writing my last article for the month. Proofed, edited, revised, invoiced, submitted, done. No more until September. Now, I am tapping into that flexibility and declaring my most important role to be mama-of-the-bride. 

Lorena aka Skuky, photo courtesy of Derek

Skuky calls from Chicago and rattles off another worry. The flowers. We are doing the arrangements ourselves, and why not, as I recalled my days of working as a florist at Kathy's Flowers in Hancock, Michigan .... a great many years ago. But when? With the wedding at noon on Saturday, and rehearsal followed by dinner late on Friday, this could get tricky. My insides shivered a little, but I kept my phone voice calm. No problem, Skuky, don't you worry, baby girl, mama will help.

And it WILL be all fine. All perfect in, no doubt, a trimming of imperfections. It's those moments of something not quite so that make our life events memorable, even fun. A recent local news story showed a wedding party, including bride and groom, posing on a dock out on the water, when the dock collapsed under their weight. Wedding photos showed a very soppy bride and a drippy groom, and a very wet, but laughing, wedding party.

I can sense her jitters, though, and the wish we all have for all the puzzle pieces to fit precisely and right, not one missing. No surprises. Eight months have gone into the planning. But we all know better. It would be surprising not to bungle into a few surprises. Spice of life! Right?

I've had my share of weddings in my life, though, in various roles, and I know by now it's not the wedding that makes the marriage. It may indeed be the least important part. When I settle into stillness and give it all some thought, the wedding with all its trimmings, cakes and dresses and flowers and tuxes and flower girls and champagne and kisses, it's what comes after that gives me contemplative pause. My baby girl is starting a new life.

To live as one has many benefits. To live with a good mate has many other benefits. Family. Push comes to shove, shove comes to topple, when we fall, it is nearly always, for most of us, at least the blessed ones, family that picks us up again. My Skuky is about to begin a new family. She will always, always have her mama. And her little brother. And the rest of this crazy bunch, aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents and the partners married in. Lucky her. Lucky us. But now she is starting a new branch on that tree, all her own, with her and Derek united at its root and who knows what cute little shoots later on.

It's a whole new life. A whole new way of being. From hereon out, nothing will be the same.

My mama's heart swells, my eyes mist a little, and my hopes soar.


  1. A few weeks ago, Lesa and I went to Carson City to visit my daughter and her family to meet granddaughter #2. Like you, I wondered how fast time was passing because "yesterday" she was on a swing. In the almost-five-year-old granddaughter number one, I see so much of my daughter, of the things she liked when she was that age, the mannerisms, etc. that it's almost like a time machine. I know your daugther will be fine, but it's nice for you to tell her that while seeing her as a grown woman and remembering how recently ago she was a toddler.


  2. I know what you mean, Malcolm, ever so well. And I see that life cycle in myself, too. I sometimes catch myself in some mannerism that I remember seeing many years ago in my grandmother, for instance. When I was very young, I wanted to resemble no one. Now older, I take comfort in sensing how connected I really am to my ancestors, and those future generations, to me.