By Holly Richardson

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On Saturday, our daughter Katie married the love of her life. She had previously defined herself as “not the marrying type” but she changed her mind after meeting and dating Hassan. I think that’s probably the dream of every parent – that their children will love and be loved. 

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Her wedding was our family’s sixth – 3 sons and 3 daughters, with more to come. (We have at least two seriously dating…) It was the least stressful so far. Katie is pretty laid back to begin with. She began by saying that she did not want a wedding at all, just a visit to the county clerk’s office, but her new husband (and her mom!) hoped for a celebration and she ended up agreeing. 

One of the smarter things we did was take family photos the day before, so we didn’t need to wrangle kids and grandkids the day of. It worked so well that I think we will suggest it to all future brides and grooms. We found out on Friday how many ties were missing (two), which shoes were too tight and who needed new socks the day before the wedding instead of the day of the wedding. Our family dinner was also the night before and I was able to make most of it ahead of time. So nice.

I thought the wedding and reception were lovely. Hassan is from Saudi Arabia and they incorporated a distinctive Middle Eastern flair to the celebration that was really fun. I am so happy that she is happy. It really warmed this mama’s heart too, to see how her siblings celebrated and supported her. 

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I look at the family photos and am bursting with love and gratitude for this bunch. Many of them came from traumatic backgrounds. Growing up was sometimes rough. And really, really loud. But I am filled with admiration for the ways they are contributing to this world and with gratitude that I can be their mom. 

What a ride parenting has been. And I’d do it all again. It’s so worth it.

As I look back on my years of motherhood, I’ve been so tired my words started slurring together and so busy, I could only shave one leg per shower. I’ve cried over the trauma and loss the kids experienced and rejoiced with them at happy milestones. I’ve been so deep in the trenches, I didn’t know if I’d ever get out. But now, those are distant (and almost fond) memories. Time marches on and the kids really do grow up (honestly, something I barely believed 15 or 20 years ago). 

This past weekend, when almost all of the family was together again, made all of those hard days and long nights worth it. What a ride parenting has been. And I’d do it all again. It’s so worth it.

Find more REAL TALK W/HOLLY RICHARDSON.

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