I always cry at weddings. I’m not an overly-sentimental teary-eyed person in general, (as far as females go), but I do cry at weddings (and when Eleanor Dashwood learns that Edward is not married to Lucy Steele). So today, at the wedding of a young woman from our church, when I found myself tearing up, I wasn’t too terribly surprised. It was when I teared up that surprised me.
I had been involved in preparing the reception. Just before the grandmothers were about to be seated I had dashed from the church kitchen into the back pew beside my husband. My head had been in the kitchen, too. Were the coffee pots plugged in? Must make sure the punch bowls are filled as soon as the ceremony is over. Extra meat trays ready to go when the first ones are emptied. Who’s going to cut the cake?
Suddenly, I went from kitchen to sanctuary and my mind quieted.
Oh, yes, this was what this fuss was all about. The bride is the oldest of nine children of very godly parents. You look at these kids and hope your own, in some small way, will be like them. She is marrying a seminary student who is in school four states away, where they will be making their home.
The bride’s brother escorted his grandmother to her seat. How sweet they look. Boy, he’s getting tall. Then the groom’s grandmother was escorted by a member of his family. What nice people they seem to be. The flowers sure look nice. Then the bride’s brother escorted their mother.
That’s when I lost it.
What’s this? It isn’t crying time yet! I’m supposed to cry when the young lovers look each other in the eyes and say their vows. Why am I crying now when my friend is being escorted by her son? Why, we haven’t even gotten to the real wedding part yet!
This, I thought, is the culmination of twenty-one years of parenting. This beautiful, godly daughter was about to marry a fine Christian man. Although they would always be her parents, some part of the parenting was done this day. And as I sat there, wiping away my tears, I realized that at this wedding I found myself identifying with the parents as much as I identified with the bride and groom.
Man, I’m getting old.