It’s impossible to convey what it’s like to marry off a grandchild, especially my first grandchild. However, now that I am an experienced bubby of the bride — after all, we recently celebrated our first grandchild’s chasunah – I’d like to share with you some important points to remember as you celebrate this important milestone.
First of all, forget the mascara. I repeat, no mascara. Actually, come to think about it, it’s probably best not to wear any eye makeup at all. Yes, I know that you want to look stunning, and yes, makeup is important, especially when since most probably the photos will be treasured for generations to come, but still, at the very least, no mascara. Please.
That’s because if you’re anything like me, you’ll probably spend most of the wedding crying buckets. Every time you look at your baby suddenly so grown up and mature (would you believe it? That little chevrah-man is actually walking his daughter, MY precious einekel, to the chuppah) and your granddaughter, a radiant kallah, so grownup and mature, your eyes will inexplicably begin to water. And we all know what that does to the eye makeup. So if you don’t want your face to take on that striking zebra look, or even worse, become like me — whenever I cry my nose turns red, so between the black stripes running down my face and my bulbous red nose, I’d end up duplicating Bozo the clown. I doubt that you want future generations to remember you like that.
Second, remember that you’re the bubby, not the mommy. You are not the one making the chasunah, rather, you are a very important guest at your children’s simchah. So sit back and enjoy it! Yes, you can, and (knowing the type of woman who reads the Binah) you most probably will help your children with the financial aspects, but it’s their responsibility, and not yours. It’s also not your responsibility to take care of all the guests and make sure that everything is running smoothly. Rather, it’s your children’s responsibility to do everything in their power to make sure that that the bubby and zaidy, as very honored guest, are enjoying every moment of their nachas, so enjoy it! Which is exactly what I did. Being together with so many of my children, and dancing together in a huge circle with my daughters, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren, can only be described as a taste of Gan Eden.
Third (and yes, I know this is something we all know, but it’s good to hear it again), don’t forget to thank Hashem for bringing you to this very special day. It’s really a zechus! How many times have we tearfully davened that we be zocheh to see bonim, uv’nei bonim, oskim b’Torah umitzvos? And now, that tefillah is being fulfilled! The chain that began so many years ago, as we stood together with our husbands under the chuppah, has now grown to three links, a chazakah! We have lived to see a dream fulfilled, to watch our children, and our children, continue in the way of the Torah. It’s a matnas chinam, a present from Above.
Fourth, don’t plan anything for the day after, and if at all possible, the day after the day after, and even better, the day after the day after the day after. If you’re chassidish and have a mitzvah tantz, expect to arrive home in the early hours of the morning. And although you’ll be beyond exhausted, chances are that you won’t go to sleep. Rather, you’ll relive every precious moment, laughing and crying at the beautiful memories of that wonderful evening. If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably continue reliving the wedding for the next few days. And in the middle of all this, just when life is starting to get back to normal, there’s the big family sheva brachos. Another all-nighter, and the cycle begins anew. But look at the bright side. If you’re reading this article (and not among the under forties taking a sneak preview), chances are that it’s been years since you and your spouse had an animated (and pleasant) discussion at three a.m. Isn’t it great to feel like a newlywed?