From the Bride’s Father’s Notebook – Day 12

Thursday, December 31 – New Years Eve

The specific events are over, but our time together continues.  That’s just fine with me.  I like our kids and their mates and want to spend as much time with them as possible.  It’s New Year’s Eve and I’m coasting, relaxed, happy.  This holiday comes every year and while I’m not a great fan of it, I have an idea how we should celebrate.  Because a wedding happens only a few times in a life, it’s hard to know what all to do, what comes first and second and third.

Imagine my surprise when our middle son asked if he and his girlfriend could take his mother and me out for tea.  I was dense enough to be momentarily irritated.  Why now?  I’m tired.  Mom’s tired.  We wanted to lie low and  relax with our children and their mates.  Why would they want to pull us away from the rest of the family for tea?  I mentioned it to my wife.  Her wiser head prevailed.  She smiled, lifted her eyebrows and suggested they might want to tell us something.  What had I been thinking?  Of course they had a reason to talk to us.  He and his girlfriend all of a sudden felt like drinking tea with us?   I can be so dense, so oblivious.  I sometimes marvel I’ve gotten myself and (with my wife) our family through all these years, paying the bills, making decisions, slogging through life, arriving today, both of us fairly happy and healthy and with three well-adjusted children each with excellent mates. 

The four of us met at the same place we bought the cake, where the bride, her mother, and I had tasted samples and sipped coffee only a few days before.  So typical of this pair of deep-thinking non-conformists, our son and his soon-to-be-fiancee, she did the talking.  Apparently our son had done the talking with her parents a week earlier at Christmas.  She asked for our blessing for them to get engaged.  How sweetly and quaintly put.  I wondered to myself if they would ask us again for our blessing to get married, the question you’d expect to hear from the almost-betrothed.

Later that afternoon all eight of us, yes eight, drank champagne to celebrate the announcement.  I was gratified to see us be and behave like a group, a family.  All different, yet similar, distinct, yet united.  Later that evening, I was preparing the grill to cook hamburgers.  Our middle son and his soon-to-be affianced had gone to a movie but were due back soon.  I love being outside grilling, smelling the smoke and the food, a beverage in hand, savoring the moment.  While I was out there they drove up and parked but funny thing, they didn’t get out of the car right away.  I was honored to be so near when my son asked his lady to marry him.  Powerfully moving that the person I helped make, that his mother and I watched grow as we parented him, was now setting out on his own, starting a new family, a life with the person who would become his wife.

The eight of us greeted the new year at our favorite pub in Alexandria.  We hoisted our beers and wished each other well, expressing our love and affection.  When the clock struck 12, I was glad to have successfully maneuvered through 2009 and particularly our daughter’s wedding, and was ready to move on to 2010.


About literarylee

I sling words for a living. Always have, always will. Some have been interesting and fun; most not. These days, I write the fun words early in the morning before the adults are up and make me eat my Cream of Wheat.
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