My eldest daughter happily loaded up the platters with the copious mountains of cupcakes, fruit tarts, coffee cake, brownies, scones, chocolates, and fruit while I frantically spread, sprinkled and chopped crusts off the tea sandwiches. She just smiled as I micro-managed her tasks from across the kitchen, refusing her offers of "why don't you let me finish what you're doing so you can do the platter your way".
My adrenaline was pumping when my sis-in-law and MIH arrived right on time to greet the guests. It was my SIL's first ever bridal shower and I wanted everything to be special (if not perfect).
It was a family shower, a chance for all of the aunts and cousins who can't make it to the destination wedding to share in the joy of the occasion. We pinned on the orchid corsage and SIL took her seat of honour. Her glowing, smiling face belied any nervousness she may have had being plunked into the middle of the guests as the focal point and centrepiece of the event. MIH's could barely contain her enthusiasm and pride... perfect mother of the bride.
For the next few hours the table of delectables was enjoyed, family memories were exchanged and the room vibrated with the laughter and joy that comes with celebrating and sharing these precious milestones.
As I stood back, snapping shots, I lowered my camera and took it all in. It occurred to me that these rituals, as stressful as they can be (they were for me when I was a bride), are a rite of passage. And there is something empowering about sharing it with the women in your family -- a show of feminine family strength, and knowing that you belong to this exclusive sisterhood.
I set out to give a special gift to my sis-in-law -- the gift of effort and time. The gift of cupcakes and flowers! The gift of a special memory. I think she got it ... my big, authentic, delectable, edible hug.
|Guests left their good wishes in stone.|