Thursday, March 24, 2011

Father of the Bride

"You stop worrying about her meeting the wrong guy, and you worry about her meeting the right guy. That's the greatest fear of all because then you lose her." -George Banks in Father of the Bride

We all went to #34
My wife and I recently attended another wedding. I say "another" because we've now been to 36 weddings in our 14 years together, not including our own.

You can say we're wedding professionals. East coast, west coast. Winter spring, summer, fall. We've seen it all.

Us at #35
You know who I couldn't keep my eyes off of? The bride's dad. Because that's going to be me some day. It used to be, I would focus on the groom. That was me once. I liked to watch his reaction upon seeing his bride for the first time. It's pretty cool. I nearly lost my cool up there when I saw my soon-to-be wife, a stunning, glowing, floating angel approaching me.
While I still do watch the groom, the bride's dad is who I'm most fascinated by now.
And this father of the bride did not disappoint. He was a big, sweaty, hulking mess. He was crying and he wasn't even trying to hide it as he and his wife walked their only daughter down the aisle. And once they were at the altar, he was constantly dabbing at his eyes, and getting emotional all over again.

I wondered what was going through his mind. The first time he held her? The first day of school? The first time a bone was broken? The first time her heart was broken?

What will I think of?
"It's so nice to finally meet you."
Maybe the first time I held her when I said, "It's so nice to finally meet you."

Or maybe those times that I get to spend alone with her, one-on-one, if my wife is working late or staying in the city for a night out with her friends. I often make it a daddy-daughter date night. We go out to eat, maybe get ice cream, and go home and watch a movie. Maybe I'll think of her looking across the table at me while she amuses herself by simply sipping a glass of ice water through a straw.

These are some of my favorite times. The times I get to be the one to read all of the books and sing all of the songs and wipe all of the tears and give all of the hugs.

Now, there's a reason why the pending nuptials of my 4 year-old daughter are so fresh in my mind.

One day recently, as I entered my daughter's classroom to pick her up from daycare, a little boy came up to me. A classmate of hers. He walked over as I squatted down for a hug and kiss. He looked me in the eye and asked me, "Can I marry (your daughter)?" I didn't know what to say. I turned to her and asked her, "Do you want to marry this guy?"

She thought about it, shifted her eyes as if she were looking to some far off place, then said whimsically and dismissively, "Ok."
Weddings suit her.

And that was that.

As we drove home I turned around to look at her as we were stopped at a red light. She sits in a booster now. Not a baby seat or a toddler seat anymore. She held her Lammie and sucked her thumb... just as she has since she started doing it so many years ago now. She was staring out the window, unwinding from a busy day of learning and playing. In that moment I thought to myself... my little girl is growing up so fast.

She's going to be married in no time. And just like that dad this weekend... that big, tough man with the thick Long Island (or LawnGUYlind) accent... I am going to be a mess.


  1. Okay, trying not to get emotional over this post!

    I've got THREE daughters and I think about it every once in a while. For sure I will lose it.

    Like yourself, whenever we go to weddings, I usually will watch the brides reaction, it's priceless. Especially after seeing my reaction on video and experiencing it LIVE!

    I found you on the top 25 bloggers list and I am glad that I did.

    As a stay home dad and "wanna be" blogger now for nearly three years, the list inspired me to find other men that are doing what I want to be doing... sharing my life experience as a dad, husband and aspiring entrepreneur (right now I am settling for working with an entrepreneur as his contracted employee).

    Thanks for being an INSPIRATION!

  2. Eric -

    Thanks so much for reading and for your kind words. It's not every day a guy gets called an "inspiration." Wow.

    Good luck in launching your own blog!


  3. So sweet. So cute. <3 they grow so quickly.


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