N (Katie's birth mother) and I had lunch yesterday. After some small talk, I asked what her dreams are for Katie's wedding. Her answer makes it official: She is a real mother, too. Her dreams, you see, are for Katie to be comfortable and joyous and surrounded by love. She doesn't want to cause a stir. She wants to be present but not intrusive. She wants to do whatever makes things right and good for Katie. Real. Mother.
Together, we cooked up the beginnings of a plan. She's going to attend the showers and the parties and the events leading up to the wedding. The goal is for her to meet everyone in all the families--Bill and Kathy and Kevin and Julie (Craig's parents) and all the kids and stepkids and grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins--before the wedding. If she meets everyone before the big day and takes part in the celebrations, everyone will accept her as simply part of our family. As she is.
Here's an example of N's generous spirit: I asked if she would like to be escorted down the aisle immediately before the ceremony. She would.
I asked if she'd like to sit beside me in the front row (after I walk down the aisle with Katie). She would not.
That place, N said, is for me--the mother who raised Katie. She is thrilled to be recognized as special and important but wants to honor my relationship with Katie and the life we built.
"I gave her breath," N said. "You gave her life."
We are the mothers of the bride. And we rock.