It's interesting how some moments of raising children stick in one's mind as clearly as the shine on a new car, a vignette of a situation that's memorable for one reason or another.
One of those memories for me is from a Sunday morning when our son was five years old. He came downstairs wearing what he thought would be his church clothes for the day. But I had a different idea and after a while asked him if he would please go back to his room and put on whatever it was I thought was better for him to wear that day. That was something I usually didn't do. Will didn't fuss or squabble, he just turned and trudged back up the steps and came down shortly wearing what I requested.
"Thanks for being so agreeable about changing your church clothes this morning," I told him after we finished dinner.
"Oh, it's OK," the young man said with a shrug. "I figure it's good practice for when I get married."
I guess that practice must have paid off. That young boy is all grown up now, and on Saturday he got married. And just as he prepared for the day starting those decades back, we prepared for the wedding this summer.
Well, actually, even before summer. In January I went to my first bridal fair with my son and his fiance, which led to appointments at bridal shops. I was touched when I was invited to go with the fiance as she tried on wedding dresses. I'm not sure I was much help, but she seemed to value my opinion. At the shop where she ended up buying her dress, during a break in the action while she was in the fitting room the clerk inquired if this was my daughter. It didn't seem strange at all to answer, "Not yet."
It really was a special day - even for me, a non-shopper - aided by technology that allowed us to take a picture of the dress we both liked and send it to her mother and my daughter to get their input.
Once we had the wedding dress in hand, my main function in planning this very unique wedding has been in a support role, waiting for instruction on what to do next as I have tried not to give my opinion unless requested. But I have made numerous calls to the bride from garage sales this summer as I found various items that seemed to be just what's needed for the wedding reception. That started with two brand new bags of heart-shaped rice for use at weddings. Now who could turn that down?
A wedding in the family is an awesome milestone, an event to be cherished. I am thrilled that my son and his now-wife wanted to celebrate their joy with their friends and family. And I pray that it was the perfect prelude to a long, loving marriage.