Because the Ghostbusters, Batman, and reptile lady I’d hired for our son’s early birthday parties had been so well received, I’d expected to be involved in the planning of his wedding. “I’d like you to play ‘Sunrise, Sunset’,” I told him on the phone. Okay, his fiance should be consulted.
The following day he called to say, “We will play it. Come early.” My request turned out to be the sound check.
It was their event and they were in charge. This I learned after alerting several out-of-town friends when it was happening, only to have my son tell me: “They’re not on the guest list. We’re inviting people we both feel close to.”
“Do they make ‘Don’t save the date’ cards?” I joked. I called to explain and everyone sounded relieved.
That evening my son’s fiancee called and said, “I’m sorry we put you in an awkward position.” I assured her it hadn’t created any problems. She thanked me and added, “It means so much that I can be honest with you.”
Her sensitivity was far more important than this issue . . . or any. My husband and I regularly acknowledged how lucky we were to be so enthused about our son’s choice.
My husband and I did get to participate in the ceremony. He was the officiant while I was asked to provide a blessing on humor and to make a speech. I began with the call I’d gotten from my son while he was in college, telling me, “Two girls from Paris asked me to share an apartment with them off campus next year.”
“So, what are you doing to do?” I asked.
“What do you think I’m going to do?” he responded, the tone making it unnecessary for him to call me an idiot. None of us could know that 15 years later he and one of the roommates would exchange rings and vows.
I ended with a story: “When our son was applying to college, caught up in the frenzy of it, I was whining to Ann, then vice principal at his school, that I wished we could calm down.”
Handing the mike to Ann, who was there, I asked, “Do you remember what you said?”
“Yes. ‘Where they go to college doesn’t matter.’ ”
“She’d been a college counselor,” I explained, “so that shocked me.”
“Then what does matter?” I’d asked her.
Ann repeated what she’d told me: “Whom they marry.”
In this case, where they went to school did matter. That’s where they met.”
Whether or not we got to invite guests didn’t matter. The unconditional love I’d felt for our son had stretched to include this beautiful, yet modest, woman with a hearty laugh, who is totally genuine and asks the right questions. That matters a lot. This was a wedding where the perfect gift was everyone being thrilled with what they were getting.