When my oldest son was in junior high school, he came home with the thing I had heard about for years and sat dreading..."The Science Fair Project". I didn't remember ever having to do one of my own, but HEY! I was about to graduate from college as a teacher...SURELY I was capable of doing a junior high project!
Well, as I began to read the requirements for completing that science fair project, it became increasingly clear that perhaps I wasn't qualified to do one of those things. Determined to pick his own topic (against my better judgment...), he chose something relating to electricity; PERFECT! My husband could help him with it. Then, as I read a little further, I noticed that a paper also had to be written about the subject matter...and TYPED IN PROPER TERM PAPER FORM! WHAT THE HECK WERE THESE PEOPLE THINKING?! This was before they made typing a requirement for students...How in the world was my son supposed to not only KNOW what the proper format was, but if he didn't know HOW to type, how long could it possibly take him to type it?! Well, I now knew what MY task would be in regards to "The Dreaded Science Fair Project" (ugh...).
I learned my lesson from that first science fair project and the other three children were required to do a project of MY choosing. I taught school at that time and a science lesson that I taught well was on spiders. I told them that their project would be on spiders and I would teach them everything they needed to know about spiders to be able to make the presentation. The paper was written with the initiation of the "spider project" and a board was created. It won first place! In our excitement, I deemed that "spiders" would forevermore be our family's "official" science fair project. And so it was that when the next two children were given their assignment for science fair, they also chose "spiders". The paper was the same; all they changed was the board. And "we" continued to receive first place ribbons. How easy was that?! Just get a system and go with it!
Up until now, my wedding planning skills were much like that science fair project thing I had going on. I had married off two boys first and it could not have been easier. I really didn't even have to do anything very far ahead of time, except secure a location for the rehearsal dinner. About a month before the wedding, I would print up an invitation to the rehearsal dinner, plan the menu and decorate the venue the day of the dinner. The second son's dinner was planned in "exactly" the same manner; I even copied the same invitation, just changed the names on it and the color. I was in NO WAY prepared for the planning of Caitlin's wedding and I must admit that it had quite become a lot like having a J-O-B! I awake each day( and sometimes at night...) with a new "wedding task" that awaits my attention. My natural sense of procrastination has not worked well for me since there are time lines that must be met and projects that must be completed. The "easy" days of just reprinting the same invitation are over (until Ryan's wedding one day...). Caitlin has created her own three-part invitation that once printed she intends to brush gold paint on each (of the 257...) invitation. Then after the paint has dried, they will be tied together with small pieces of burlap. Obviously NOT a "quick and easy" task. Yes, they will be unique and beautiful, but this is nothing that can be done in a day's time. I'm actually thinking of making a weekend of it, inviting some people over and having an "invitation party"! My ideas is to create an assembly line, where there will be a person who can run the printer (not me...) to address everything, a couple who can work on tying the three pieces together, another couple to stuff the envelopes and someone else to stamp them. Hmmm...what do ya think?! Personally, I think it would be well worth the time and trouble to fix some food and drinks for a few people to knock these things out in a weekend!
No, I have found that wedding planning as the mother-of-the-bride is definitely NOT like the "science" of wedding planning as the mother-of-the-groom. I cannot even imagine what my friends who have numerous daughters must go through; I'm sure each want their "own" themes and designs. I now appreciate the fact that I will finish up my wedding planning days with another son. I will be able to go back to the familiar....to the days of the "science fair" planning...and I will sit back and leisurely enjoy the process as I procrastinate my way through it!