While I'm enjoying telling the story of my mom and dad and how they came together, I need to pause for a bit as present day love takes precedence over the past. To be more specific:
My daughter is getting married this weekend.
OK, let me try that again: (ahem) My daughter is getting married this weekend.
Nope. Still not registering. I can say the words, I can write them out, I can sing them, shout them from the rooftop, or tap them out in Morse Code but they still don’t seem to be catching hold in my brain.
My daughter? Is getting married? This weekend?
Even with the different punctuation, it’s more than my brain can handle.
For one thing, it is physically impossible for me to have a daughter who is old enough to be getting married. That would make me ... well, old. And I’m a lot of things, but old? No way.
Besides, it is patently ridiculous to suggest that a young girl I can clearly remember having to gently push across the threshold of her nursery school on the first day could be considered of marriageable age. I mean, we do have laws in this country.
Okay, she’s not in nursery school any more, obviously, but it was just a few months ago that I dropped her off for her first day of middle school. She didn’t want to take the bus and I was up early in the morning anyway, so what the hell. As I dropped her off, I expected her to leap out of the still-rolling car to avoid the humiliation of actually being seen with her father because “ ... Omigod he is sooooo embarrassing!”
Instead, she leaned over and gave me a kiss. Right there, in the car, in front of all her friends. And it occurs to me even as I write this that never once has she ever bailed out of giving me a kiss goodbye, no matter what she was doing or how many cool friends were around, waiting to tease her. There’s incontrovertible evidence that she’s a little girl, right there.
The point I am making is, these memories are far too clear for them to be more than a quarter of a century old. They must be far more recent. Ergo, I couldn't possibly have a daughter getting married this weekend. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen of the jury.
I will now go and weep the bitter tears of a father for whom everything is happening just a bit too quickly.
When she was a baby, I thought we'd never get that damn kid out of diapers. Then she was barely walking when all of a sudden whoooosh it was her first day of kindergarten. But elementary school dragged on and on until I realized she'd somehow made it into junior high when I wasn't looking.
It was only a week or so later that I was helping her pick her high school electives - and then of course she had to decide what her major was going to be in University and that was only a month ago. So don't even try to tell me she's getting married. Not buyin'.
Maybe it's just a dream. That's it. I'll wake up and she'll be bringing in a handful of dandelions to put in a vase for Mom. Or she'll be rushing out the front door to find the bird that hit the picture window, and making a little nest in a Kleenex box and bringing the damn thing in to me and asking me to make it better.
Or maybe I'll wake up to find her climbing that stupid tree that I've told her to stay out of a million times, then calling me outside to see how high she's gotten and making my knees go weak when I look up at her.
Well ... I can still look up at her, but now she's standing right beside me. And my knees still go weak, but ... well, she's always had that effect on me anyway.
And this weekend, unless someone fixes the tear in the Space/Time Continuum, she’ll take me by the arm and support me as I walk her down the aisle because I know my knees will be too weak for that.
I need to go and lay down, close my eyes, get some perspective on all this. But now I'm afraid to do that.
Look what happened the last time I closed my eyes for a bit.
So, I promise to come back to the story. I'm just not sure whether I'll be able to do much this weekend. You'll be the first to know.