When I was the ripe young age of 21 years old and engaged to my college sweetheart, my mother did something rather out of character for her. She threw an engagement party for us.
Now keep in mind that there was no pinterest in 1978 and no internet for that matter! I was finishing my college degree and typing my final papers on a typewriter that never quite spit out my monkey mind thoughts as fast as I wanted it to. My mother’s parties were always the same- no fancy decorations or new recipes. They usually consisted of the house full of my siblings, their spouses and their children. And even though no “extra” people were invited, we still had to eat in shifts at the dining room table. The house was always full of chatter and love and the table was always groaning under the weight of homemade Lebanese food and the elbows of my handsome and hungry brothers.
I wouldn’t have changed one thing about that party! It was just the celebration I craved! All the love in the world was in that kitchen!
But my mom added a special touch that I will never forget. From the dining room chandelier she hung a sterling silver baby cup with a curled pink ribbon tied to it.
Now, you must appreciate that in a family of six children, individual artifacts of each child are difficult to identify even if you can find them after twenty something years! Having been raised “warehouse style” (look it up- it’s Freudian) in a house full of the opposite gender I don’t remember anything really being my personal property except maybe for my dolls and a couple random items from the Avon lady.
But somehow this tiny silver cup floated its way to the top of the old Amelia Earlheart trunk in the garage and my mother had a thought about finding it and displaying it from the chandelier. Without the guidance of pinterest or advice from friends on Facebook, she gave the party that special touch. And touched I was.
Indeed, it touched me so deeply that the tiny cup is displayed in my china hutch (her china hutch!) thirty five years later. The ribbon has faded and the cup has tarnished, yet it is still a beautiful reminder of the occasion and my mother’s intention to do something special for me.
This weekend I am hosting an engagement party for my son, Peter, and his beautiful fiance, Brianna. I couldn’t have hand picked a more lovely young woman for him. That same dining room table that now graces my home will be groaning with food. It has bowed even more with majesty under the elbows of my three handsome and hungry sons. There will be family and friends and toasts and the fullness of love and good wishes. I’ve hosted many parties in my home but this one will be special. We open the door to join with a new family and hail the beginning of Peter and Brianna’s lives together and all the joys and challenges that lie ahead for them. It will be a profound and meaningful celebration.
And I have been preparing for it for weeks! Just this evening I was deadheading mums and raking leaves in the back yard. Tomorrow I will pick up some last minute items. Saturday, my “helpers” are coming to string lights, set up tables, roll grapeleaves and chop parsley for tabouli. Sunday morning will be spent arranging flowers and ironing table cloths. It is all a sweet labor of love.
So shoot me… I want it to be perfect! I want it to be something that they will remember for years to come. A celebration full of all the love in the world!
I want it to be something special.