Review: The Magic Room

Reading The Magic Room: A Story About the Love We Wish for Our Daughters by Jeffrey Zaslow during the month of my seventh wedding anniversary was a trip down memory lane.

Post-Ceremony

I didn’t even want to try on the wedding dress I wore as I walked down the aisle. My mom picked it out, which knocked it completely out of my desire-range. I tried on the other four that I had picked out in our first pass of Henri’s, and they weren’t right. I put on the dress my Mom had grabbed. And it was the one.

Dress Collage

I have fun memories of picking out my wedding dress with my Mom. I remember teasing my husband that he would need to stop drinking at our reception a few hours before he wanted to get me out of it, as it was rather complicated. I remember seeing his face. I remember feeling like a princess.

But I was aware, even then, that our marriage was more than my wedding dress. Or even the wedding.

Ceremony Candids

We didn’t have an expensive wedding. We did have a big wedding because my family is rather large. But we didn’t go into debt to host our own wedding. We had a lovely day, I promise you that. We were just aware that we wanted more than just one day. We wanted a lifetime.

A few people made jokes this year, as we celebrated our seventh anniversary, that we should beware that old “seven year itch.” I was pleased when The Magic Room let me know that the largest number of divorces now occur in the fourth year. We’re safe! Not that we’ll stop trying, working on things and through things, as the book states.

I did not appreciate the commentary and underlying judgment that those women who want a white dress, even though they already have a child, are somehow in the wrong. Considering the Munchkin was at my wedding, and I was most certainly wearing white, I felt this part of the book and the discussions about what is and is not right when it comes to marriage and family and children was just way too off base.

When it comes down to it, The Magic Room might be a great gift to hand to a woman who is just recently engaged and is looking for a dress. But, as a note, there is a love that mothers also wish for their sons, and it’s more than what’s in a dress or a wedding celebration.

 

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Best Christmas Ever

All the worry about the wanting and the gimmes and the less-for-Christmas and the lessons that need to be learned… all for nothing.

BigBrother crawled into bed with us at his normal waking time on Christmas morning. We had instructed him not to go to the living room; just to make a pit stop and come straight to our room. He did as he was told, as he is wont to do. He flipped and flopped in between us. I felt the excitement radiating from every surface of his little body. Christmas is here. Eventually, he spoke aloud.

I am so excited.” And he paused. I figured he was going to say something about presents or to see what Santa had left or even mention his specific, highly-desired present. I waited, ready to come back with my line that we get what Santa brings us and we’ll be thankful no matter what.

He continued. “About that egg sandwich.

We had decided, the previous day, that for Christmas morning breakfast — after the presents were opened and coffee was consumed — we would have egg sandwiches for breakfast. We’ve never made egg sandwiches at home, defaulting to scrambled or dippy or other variations of eggs when we have them for breakfast, so the thought of an egg sandwich was new and different. And apparently exciting. And thus a tradition has been born.

Later in the day, after all of the presents had been opened, food had been consumed and the exhaustion was beginning to set in, we started to make our way back home. It was dark, the lights on people’s houses giving us all something to look at as we silently made our way back over the river and through the woods. As always, BigBrother had something to say.

Mommy, wasn’t it so nice…

I waited.

To see all of our family today?

It was. Even nicer was to hear that my oldest son understood and appreciated that part as well. My heart grew three sizes and I breathed a bit easier. We must be doing something right. And still, he pressed it.

It was just such a nice Christmas. Nothing went wrong.

I agreed with him, missing that innocence of youth. I could name umpteen number of things that went wrong on Christmas day. I forgot two pretty cool presents for the boys in the back of the car. My mother-in-law felt pretty bad that she burned FireDad’s favorite pie. My back was a mess, as always. When we got home, the furnace was acting up. And so on. But to him — to both boys — it had been a perfect Christmas.

Of family. Of traditions, new and old.

Best Christmas Ever.

Best Christmas ever, for sure.