Wedding Cake

Good things come in threes!

Tracey Columns

I’m giddy. Tomorrow my husband and I take off for a life-altering, fun filled five days with family and friends. The occasion? Our youngest daughter is getting married!

At thirty, she will join her brother and sister, and her parents, in what promises to be a wonderfully satisfying, life-long arrangement. Marriage. It’s a good thing. (This is the point where, advice columnist that I am, I should say something about the realities of marriage and how hard it can be and how it doesn’t always work out, etc.. But no. Maybe in another column. This one is just about one mother being happy and feeling optimistic!)

People thought we were nuts to have our kids so close together. (And yes, at times in the early years, I periodically questioned my sanity as well!) But good things happen in threes! I quickly discovered that there were some advantages to having these kids all under three and a half yeas of age. We simply established a bit of an assembly line approach to parenting – everything was done in threes. Diapers changed, naps taken, meals served. Once we got into this zone, everything made more sense and our family moved along at a good little clip.

In the blink of an eye, the oldest began kindergarten and the other two went off to preschool. We established a new routine and, in spite of things like our chickenpox epidemic in the late 80’s, it was all systems go. In nothing flat, elementary school meant three lunches packed, three homework sessions completed, three backpacks lined up every night. It was a good system.

There were a few years mid-stream when I thought things like Science Fairs, the kid’s basketball addiction, and History Days might do us in. And okay, having three teenagers was somewhat challenging. But as long as my husband and I kept our wits about us, remembered to laugh, and honored date night, all of us made it to the other side.

One right after the other, they left home and the next thing we knew, BAM, our nest was empty, never to be full again. (The exception? Those random holidays when all of them make their way home, which, if you ask  me, doesn’t happen nearly enough.)

Next came an absolute flurry of college graduations. Six in all. (Ah, graduate school.) Guess I shouldn’t be surprised that two educators would produce children who valued education.

And somewhere along this frenetic timeline of their twenties, one by one, each of them fell in love with the most amazing people. And while that may sound like a starry-eyed mother-in-law, it’s actually quite true. Each of my children has chosen well. (I find myself telling people that statistically, shouldn’t we have at least one dud? But no. Our family has expanded in the best possible way.)

Back to good things happening in threes … the weddings began! Each one has been such a dear reflection of the individual couples. Our son and his husband, of Mexican descent, surprised everyone with a mariachi band. Our oldest daughter and her husband created an absolute oasis in an oak grove outside of Sacramento. And the baby of the family? She and her bride-to-be are transforming a sweet little lodge high in the mountains outside of Truckee into something of a two and a half day, quasi-summer-camp experience/wedding celebration for family and friends. I can hardly wait.

Naturally, as this column will attest, my heart is full of sweet sentiment and appreciation. My kids have each created for themselves the lives they want and need. Do parents wish for anything more? I think not.

Yep, when it comes to my kids, it’s pretty easy to say that good things came in threes!

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