A wolf grows up

Confession: If I’m a bit quiet lately, it’s due to wedding planning. Everyone warned me that this would be a stressful process, but I thought that by choosing something small, quiet, and suited to me, I could escape the drama. Unfortunately, I was wrong. The concept of a wedding is all tied up with tradition, family, and culture — beautiful, powerful things — and some people have very strong opinions about what a wedding should be. Disagreements quickly dissolve into emotional tailspins. They create canyons in what you thought was solid earth. They pose problems that don’t always have easy solutions — or maybe no solutions at all.

As I try (and sometimes fail) to deal with all of that, I find myself thinking about the short story “St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves” by Karen Russell. In it, a group of human girls and boys are born to wolves. The wolves love their children, and take care of them for a while, but eventually they allow the kids to be taken away and raised by humans, because that’s what they think would be best. Despite some initial fears and sorrow, most of the kids do adapt, and even become happy. Then, at the end of the story, one girl goes back to see her wolf parents, and only then does she understand the gulf between where she came from and who she is now.

15 responses to “A wolf grows up”

  1. T. S. Bazelli Avatar

    Hang in there! I hope that no matter what happens you enjoy the actual day. I remember how stressful it was – because my family had different expectations than mine – oh the drama – and there are so many little things to juggle and figure out, which is stressful enough on it’s own. I hope you have lots of help, and get a little personal time away from it once in a while!

  2. Shari Avatar

    Good luck with the planning! I hope the joy and excitement will somehow shine through the drama and stress. :)

  3. Kristan Avatar

    Thanks, y’all. :)

    I wrote this out during an episode of melancholy, but I’m feeling better now. It’s definitely an up-and-down kind of time. But I’m optimistic that there are more ups than downs in the future. Those of us who are struggling and creating conflict all love each other very much.

  4. tria Avatar

    wedding planning! i know how that is all too well. it will all get sorted out – it always does! and nothing compares to the up of the actual day! it will sweep away all conflict, no matter what decisions are made during planning. you have lots to look forward to :)

    1. Kristan Avatar

      Thanks, Tria! That’s very reassuring. :)

  5. Krispy Avatar

    Sorry it’s been stressful, and I hope things smooth over soon. Weddings *are* about a lot of people and a lot of things, but remember it’s *your* big day. So don’t be afraid to put your foot down if you have to. :) I think ultimately, when the day arrives though, all of this will be worth it.

    I’m not anywhere near this stage, but one of my best friends had her wedding last year. I was one of her bridesmaids, and while the lead-up was a bit stressful at times, the wedding itself was probably the best time/party I’ve been to. It was so much fun. So look forward to that! Good luck!

    1. Kristan Avatar

      Oh, I’m putting my foot down where it counts — but that’s the cause of the strife. *sigh* I’m a people-pleaser, so it’s killing me to disappoint people that I love so much. But if it’s between their happiness on my wedding day, and my happiness on my wedding day, then there just doesn’t seem to be much of a debate.

      Anyway, thanks for your advice! I think we’re moving forward with positivity now.

  6. yogadog Avatar

    Stress is icky (a technical term.) So here is some unsolicited advice from someone who has never gotten married, but has been a maid of honor 4 times and a best person once. (1) You are surrounded by people who love you. If it isn’t truly important, and very little is, don’t fight about it. (2) Stress comes in waves. And just like the waves in the ocean, the best way to not get tossed around is to dive under. (3) In times of stress, sugar is your friend.

    And of course the bottom line is, no matter how the wedding turns out, when it’s all over you’ll be married to Andy. So, you’re guaranteed a happy ending. Yay!

    1. Kristan Avatar

      (1) Agreed. Unfortunately there was 1 important thing we were on polar opposite sides about.
      (2) Good advice. I was definitely not diving under. Trying to now…
      (3) Lol. I’m way ahead of you there!

  7. Anthony Lee Collins Avatar

    I agree with Krispy. A strategically and definitively planted foot can do wonders. That’s what my ex and I did, and it worked out pretty well. It was the ideal wedding for us, at least, and we were the ones getting married. If somebody had other ideas, they could go have their own wedding.

    The juxtaposition of wolves and weddings (that sounds like a great story, by the way) made me think of this, which was pretty much the theme song of my marriage:

    1. Kristan Avatar

      Wolves and weddings have been juxtaposed in at least one major story I can think of. (Game of Thrones!) That one didn’t have a happy ending though… :P

  8. Jonathan Avatar

    I have never been married, so I really have no good advice! But I know your wedding will be great!

  9. Sherrie Petersen Books Avatar

    Congratulations! I know wedding planning can become all consuming. So many little details that you never thought you’d have to consider. Crazy! But a nice payoff when it’s all over. Enjoy!

  10. Juliann Avatar

    I feel for you, Kristan. My own wedding didn’t seem as stressful as the planning and family drama surrounding my son’s. It was a real test of my tolerance during his, and in the end, hurt feelings at who made his wedding a priority and who didn’t. I hope I spared him from all of the behind-the-scenes battling. It was a beautiful wedding, but stressful doesn’t begin to describe it.

    1. Kristan Avatar

      I’m sorry to hear that your son’s wedding was so stressful for you — but it was kind of you to try and shelter him from the worst of it.

      In our situation, there’s a lot of conflict over making things convenient, and over who we should be planning for/around. But the thing is, it’s impossible to make things work for everyone, no matter what we do. So, after much discussion and deliberation, Andy and I chose to prioritize our vision and our desires above all else, and that’s not sitting well with some people. I feel a lot of guilt and anguish over the hurt feelings and the inconveniences, but at the same time, I think it’s the right choice here.