In ten days, my daughter is getting married. To a fine young man from a family that I’m enjoying getting to know. My heart is turned completely to them in support. To destress the stressful parts. To remember the purpose of this ceremony and ritual. To help with car rides.
This is new territory for all of us, as it should be. Included in that is the still stunning awareness that I am Father of the Bride! It’s an exciting time. It’s a tender time.
There is all the “event” stuff. Dresses, bouquets, food for guests. Who stands where, who sits with whom. Toasts to be made. Speeches to be offered. Funny stories to be recalled.
Then there is the “life passage” stuff. Oh yah, that. Moving into another stage of adult life. Marriage. A partner. Finances. A place to live and be responsible for. Learning to lean further in to a partner. To form union. To be a union in progress that transcends the event and takes different shapes in the varied phases of life.
I’ve searched for the right words to share. You know, Dad stuff. They come reasonably naturally. Perhaps in part because I’ve wanted to live life with my daughter, not as an event and party (though these are fun), but rather as a journey of learning.
It’s the life passage that I find myself drawn to. Not just the day, but the next six weeks or six months of growing into this new reality. For her. For them. For me with them. For all of us with them.
I can feel the importance of all of us witnessing this union, that we are holding them for a moment in this transition. Ah, that hits the spot. Naming the transition and the need to be held in that, not just in the event.
I could make some parallel to my work — holding people in transition. Marking it with ceremony. It’s all stuff that I do and that is really important.
However, for today, my thoughts are mostly as a Dad loving his daughter. They are about being present to the layers and the nuance of passages with someone I love.