I didn’t really become aware of this particular confusion until last week, when I had my eyes checked by my future son-in-law, the eye doc.
Which is funny, now that I think of it.
I go to get my eyes checked and I suddenly realize I’m not seeing straight.
Here’s the exchange.
Me: “Marrying off a daughter feels a lot different than marrying off a son.”
Me: “I felt happy marrying off my son.”
Political pundits might describe what I said next as spin doctoring…damage control.
But honestly, I feel happy for my daughter and my future son-in-law.
Here’s the problem: As I get closer and closer to the Day ahead, I find myself reflecting more and more on days past.
- Pausing. To look at art she made in kindergarten, which I still have in my office.
- Remembering. How she said, “I’m so excited.” She has been saying that a lot lately.
- Looking. At pictures of her and her little brother when they were short and squeaky and wanting me to carry them when they got tired.
These are not distant memories. They feel fresh. And, doggone it, they’re getting fresher. What the heck is up with that?
I think I may have crossed the line.
From happy to sappy.
I don’t understand why this is happening with my daughter’s wedding, but didn’t happen with my son’s wedding.
I love both of my kids all the way to the top.
The in-law kids are wonderful souls, too. Gentle spirits whose company I enjoy and cherish and don’t take for granted.
Maybe I should chalk up the sap to my job description as father of the bride.
As father of the groom, I got to relax, enjoy, and capture the moment on video—which is what I’ve done since the kids were babies. They can’t remember me not doing it. I was educated as a journalist. I can’t help myself. I’m programmed to record and report.
But this time I don’t get to do that.
I’ve been ordered not to.
I understand that it might possibly distract wedding guests if I walked my daughter down the aisle while videotaping.
My job as father of the bride
Instead of capturing the present, my new job description is to capture the past.
- Create a video of the couple during their growing up years.
- Give my daughter away, as if I ever owned her; she was a loaner, entrusted to my care by God above.
- Toast the couple with stories from their past.
- Dance with the bride while trying not to remember dancing with her when she was two.
Maybe that’s the reason the sap is running.
Yeah, I like that explanation. Let’s go with that.
To read the Bible, you might think the sap should be no respecter of persons, flowing equally for son and daughter:
“A man leaves his parents for a woman. The man and woman become part of each other—two people, yet one.”
Genesis 2:24 Steve’s Bible Translation
They both leave. And they are G-OH-N-E gone.
“Bye-bye Daddy. Have a good day. See you later.”
Both of my kids used to say that to me as I left for work.
Now I’m feeling sappy about both of them.
“Bye-bye kids. Have a good day. See you later.”
That must be it. Reflection is the problem.
We remember warm and wonderful days gone by that we can’t relive.
Before the wedding, I’d very much like to find my way out of sappy and back to happy.
May the Good Lord help me, I need to go to my Happy Place.
Maybe I should start with the Bible verse one of my groomsmen gave me on my wedding day.
“This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”
Psalm 118:24 KJV