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.