This month is set to be a big one for my family and me. Through some quirk of fate or the gods’ sense of humor, May 24 is going to be a nexus for us. I note these occurrences in chronological order as we learned about them so as not to imply a priority of one event over the other. I’ve been doing this family thing a long time.
While our big news and big day are certainly not as earth shattering (literally) as the Mayan end of time scare last December, nor of very widespread interest, it promises to be an important time in the familial goings on of three generations of us. You see, on May 24 my daughter Suzie gets married. She and her fiancé Colin picked the date last summer.
My wife and I are thrilled with the prospect of our family growing to include this fine young man. The wedding plans have been in full swing for what seems like to me, forever. My home looks like a bridal boutique as table decorations, invitations and other non-descript nuptial items fill my den and now have spilled over to half of our living room. To paraphrase President Kennedy, “Ask not what your wedding planner (your daughter or wife) can do for you—just write the checks and remain quiet.”
In a case of life imitating art, I’m reminded of the 1950 Spencer Tracy movie, “Father of the Bride.” I’ve watched it several times in anticipation of what is now befalling me. Don’t get me wrong, I mean no disrespect to Steve Martin’s 1991 redo of the movie, but come on, we’re talking Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor. There is no comparison in my opinion.
Like the movie’s main character, Stanley Banks, I, too, am so incidental to the entire goings on that I often feel invisible. Happily, I am not offended in the least by my exclusion from the planning phase; in fact, it is a perfect situation. I look forward to the end product; walking my daughter up the aisle, the father daughter dance and a reception party for the ages.
However, the wedding is only phase one of the happenings for my family in May this year. My oldest son and his lovely wife are expecting their first child. Drum roll please: My wife and I are going to be grandparents. As an only son of an only son, you can imagine what I’m hoping for. However, I will acquiesce to political correctness and hope for a healthy baby regardless of its gender; a boy would be very cool.
And here is the kicker: My son and his wife Traci are due on May 24, the same date as my daughter’s wedding. Now, were I a superstitious kind of fellow it would seem appropriate to ascribe some kind of cosmic significance to May 24. Well, I’m not, and I don’t. I do, however, think that these two events are going to add some complexity to our Memorial Day weekend.
When I mention this coincidence to friends and family, almost universally they say due dates are like stop lights in Italy; they are only a suggestion. I politely acknowledge that fact, having had four kids of my own, but still harbor some concern about the possibility and how these two mileposts in life may overlap one another.
It would be nice if they could occur sequentially rather than simultaneously with a little space in between, but that’s not in the cards this time around. So why am I sharing all this stuff with you?
I guess my best answer is that it’s very exciting for my family and me to begin two new chapters in life at almost the same time and realize that many of you are probably down one or both of these roads, too. I guess it’s a chance to reach out and announce my membership in the club(s), so to speak.
One thing I know for sure based on the kind of people who populate this industry is that I carry your good wishes and that means a lot. Enjoy this May issue of PM. I hope I have a chance to read it.