Family: Transitioning from mom to grandma more fascinating than Facebook

The bride to be was tiny and she wore no shoes.

It was 20 years ago when I penned that line in reference to my daughter, my middle child and my oldest girl.

She was standing in a dressing room at a fancy bridal shop, curling her bare toes into a luxurious rug, looking anxiously at her image in the full-length mirror and stealing glances at me, her mother, for approval.

The dress was lovely in its simplicity and the bride was no less so, but I, of course, couldn’t give an honest appraisal of how she looked because of the silly tears flooding my eyes.

It made her all blurry.

Apparently, that little dressing room scene happened 20 years ago. She was married March 1, 1997.

Now, sitting in a hotel room with my husband and my three children who are now all ‘married with children of their own,’ I feel something akin to a deep sense of gratitude for the last 20 years even though I swear they must have slipped by on greased wheels of lighting.

In my mind, I quietly leave the room and go back to that day. The wedding day.

They were married in the Bahamas, barefoot, on the beach. I was the official photographer, armed with a film camera, plenty of rolls of film and great determination.

Since that time I have shot several weddings, but never again did I play the dual role of mother of the bride and photographer. It was nerve wracking, but I was too busy to care very much. When the groom lifted his new bride into his arms and carried her into the aquamarine waters of the Pacific Ocean I followed them, camera in hand.

I got the shot.

When they did flips on a trampoline set up on the beach, I laid on my tummy in the sand to capture the moment.

In the process I got sand all over my lovely mother of the bride dress, but no one cared, least of all me.

And I got the shot.

I smile as I remember.

I gently close the cover on the photograph book of the past that lives in my mind, and return to the present.

And I look around the room at them all. It is true. Time has not left us unscathed. We are older. Some of us have gray hair. Some of us have less hair.

It is also true that I am not much, if any, wiser, in spite of all of the lessons and multiple choice quizzes life has thrown my way.

I have graduated from film to digital camera. I have also graduated from being a mom to being a grandma. I found going from film to digital difficult and weird, even though now I could take a hundred or a thousand shots and never, ever run out of film.

But, the transition to being a grandma was simple, seamless and wonderful. And in the end, it turned out to be better than digital, more entertaining than Netflix and more fascinating than Facebook.

In fact, for me, it’s kind of like being surprised by joy, not once, but six times over.

And now that a couple of my grandchildren have become teenagers, I realize I don’t have to worry about being wise any more.

I will just ask them for the answers!

Treena Mielke lives in Sylvan Lake and is editor of the Rimbey Review. She has been a journalist and columnist for more than 25 years.

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