I won’t be blogging next Sunday because I’ll be at Akili and Tina’s wedding in SoCal. Is my son really getting married? Pinch me. I have moments when I feel like I fell down a rabbit hole.
The first time I met Tina was when Akili brought her home for Sudi’s high school graduation in 2009. From the minute I saw the two of them together, I knew this was the one for Akili. They were quite simply completely comfortable with each other. He was so much himself with her. They fit. Tina has been a part of our family ever since. In fact, it seems as though she and Akili are already married. The wedding will give those of us present a moment to step into a place outside of time where we can take a breath and formally celebrate this lifelong partnership.
As the wedding approaches, my daughter sent me a link to an amusing collection of children’s views about marriage. The children answered questions posed by an interviewer. When asked the proper age to get married, Camille, age 10, answered, “23 is the best age because you know the person forever by then.” When asked how a stranger could tell if two people were married, Derrick, age 8, answered, “You might have to guess based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids.” In response to a question about conversations while on a date, Lynette, age 8, noted “Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough.” Ricky, age 10, gave the following advice for making a marriage work, “Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a truck.” I think one of the best suggestions about taking care of your wife that I have read recently was the one that recommended to men that if their wife seemed out of sorts they should hug her and tell her she’s beautiful and if she growls then they should retreat to a safe distance and throw chocolate at her. Works for me.
The word “wedding” has always felt ancient to me. It has not changed much from the Old English form “weddian” or the Middle English “wedde.” A wedding, a symbolic joining of two souls, seeing them “wed,” is an old, old ritual. Witnessing a wedding feels nearly primitive. Attending the wedding of two people who are terrific together and who have an excellent relationship is up there at the top as one of the most wonderful experiences in life. How remarkable that these two young people found each other in this crazy, mixed-up world? That alone is cause for celebration. So many people go their whole lives and never meet someone to partner with, never find that special person. I rejoice that it happened for my son; and that the woman he found comes from a family who values family above all else and cherishes its children passionately. Her family adores Tina’s little niece and nephews! It will be the same with us as well one day when we have grandchildren. Akili could not have found a finer family to join.
I have accomplished many things in this life, yet none more significant to me than raising my three children. Nothing makes me happier than being surrounded by their chatter and basking in their presence. To see my Akili wed will be one of the greatest joys of my life and will certainly undo me when I watch his beautiful bride come down the aisle. I just hope they don’t play “Sunrise, Sunset” from Fiddler on the Roof at the festivities, because I could certainly go through a box of Kleenex on that song. My daughter and soon-to-be daughter-in-law insist that I have to wear makeup, so I bought waterproof mascara at Macy’s. This will be a strong test of the waterproofness of Macy’s mascara.
Every morning when I walk, I tell the trees that my wish for my children is that they will love their lives as much as I am loving mine. My big-hearted jolly baby boy is grown and about to take a bride. The years march by so swiftly. I am filled with gratitude for all of it. More, please.
Where is the little boy I carried?
Where is the little girl at play?
I don’t remember growing older.
When did they?
Sunrise, sunset; sunrise, sunset;
Swiftly flow the years,
One season following another,
Laden with happiness and tears.