the wedding was one day away. From well before sunrise to long after the sun set we did nothing but wedding, wedding, wedding.
And today, right at this very minute, Ben and Sammie are pushing an unwieldy cart through IKEA and jotting down numbers as they acquire the last few needs for their little basement apartment.
It’s good to be on the other side.
In the days after the wedding I’ve
1. bought a cartful of groceries and left them overnight in the car.
2. stubbed all my toes and adorned six fingers with bandaids
3. when making bread, measured up 1000 ozs of flour rather than 1000 grams. That’s no small mistake. 1 oz=28.35 g.
4. in the same batch of bread mixed up two bandaids with the dough. Don’t tell Xander. I pulled them out of his sandwich.
I think you get the idea…. I’m tired.
Not because of a lack of help and support. The day before the wedding, friends, neighbors and my darling sister’s family descended upon the house– making food, sweeping floors, doing dishes, setting up tables and chairs, hanging paper lanterns, folding napkins…my poor friend Elizabeth needed stitches after helping with the dishes after the wedding dinner (and I was bragging about my cheap IKEA glasses). In the days since, love and good wishes have poured in from all over the country, the world. People are so good, so generous, so kind.
More than once over the years, my boys have asked, “Why is everyone so interested in my love life?”
“All the world loves a love story.” I told them, “Books, movies, music… all attest to the universal obsession with love. And we especially savor witnessing a love story up close; feeling like we contributed to others happiness.”
I believe this fascination with love reveals the very best in human nature. We want to feel loved, but we also want others to find joy. Few of us worry about our friends earning fame or fortune but we want everyone to discover love.
Weeding the yard exhausted John and Will.
Those unselfish feelings, that unfettered joy for others, come out full force for a wedding. And not because of a naive expectation of ‘happily ever after’ or that marriage won’t offer challenges– I think people are supportive because they know married life can be hard, but oh-so-worth every effort. All these offerings of gifts and setting tables, stitching quilts and hanging lights say, “We’re invested in you; we’re here to support you.”
Over and over, I’ve heard Ben say, “I’m amazed at people’s kindness; it makes me want to work hard to be the best husband.”
Mary and Zoey transformed a half-dozen Trader Joe’s bouquets into eleven gorgeous arrangements.
Our beautiful waitstaff.
I’m not opposed to destination weddings or even elopements; a large gathering requires so much work (and again, the bride’s family does SO much more). But there’s beauty in so many people coming together. The presence of each relative, friend and acquaintance offers a subtle reminder– “We’re invested in you; take care of each other.”
I think they will.