On Saturday, I became a mother in-law, a role I’m relishing with gratitude for the beautiful young lady who gave me that title, love for my expanding family and laughter because, well, I’m a mother in-law. Mwah ha ha ha.
My son Vinnie met his bride Danni at an a capella competition, which is a pretty aca-awesome way to kick off a relationship. They and their friends have brought music, laughter and joy to our family ever since.
You can trace the story of Vinnie and Danni’s relationship — their whole lives really — in their wooden, guitar-string embellished wedding rings, which are made from the music that brought them together and the land that they love.
A few months ago, they asked my husband Vince to go out into the woods near our cabin and cut a branch from an oak tree. We are very obedient parents, so he and his friend Tom went out and scouted trees and then, later, Vince trudged on out there in thigh high snow and cut them a branch.
We thought it was hilarious, and intriguing and very, very sweet – much like the couple those rings represent.
Those rings grew on our family’s land, which is where we first met Danni and, later, where we met her very brave and wonderful family.
That land is also where Vince first met my family 34 years ago. (And, while it is true that my dad was holding a shotgun at the time, they were shooting skeet so it was okay).
You can float down the river at the farm and see some very cool root formations under some very old trees and we love that Vinnie and Danni’s rings also root them to that special place in the same way.
I like to think about the rings within those rings – how each ring in a tree’s trunk represents the years – some thin rings because life can be really difficult sometimes and that’s when your roots grow deeper, and some thick rings because life also can be full of laughter and love and music and that’s when your branches grow wide.
We’re all so very grateful to everyone who has been a part of the circles in Vinnie and Danni’s tree — their families, friends, music teachers, coaches, co-workers, bosses and anyone else who impacted their lives and helped them become the happy, kind, generous, talented, time-challenged, wonderful people they are.
Weddings themselves are frenetic blips in a lifetime, which can seem like a shame. You want to bottle up all that love and joy and frosting and make them last forever.
And that’s the beauty of Vinnie and Danni’s rings. Because all of those people, and that music, and that love will always be right there for them, firmly planted in their 2019 circle of love.
I’m so grateful for the opportunity those cool, quirky rings gave me to be a mother in-law.
And I’m really looking forward to becoming a mother in-law to another beautiful daughter in 10 months.
The 2019-2020 ring in my family tree is thick with love and gratitude.