Today's the Wedding Day

What do you tell your son when he gets married?

My parents didn't tell me anything. My father told my husband to "be good to Cele." That's it. But I feel I should say something. I want to say something. But I sure don't know where to start.

I guess, it's too late to give any advice, the advice you've been given for years. Some 29 years, to be exact.

Advice like, be careful. Don't touch the stove. Don't ride your bike in the street. Don't drink and drive. Too many "don'ts." It got so, Chris, that you used to ask if your Dad and I if we had any advice to offer before you left the house, or went back to college.

And we can't ask questions any more. Like, why did you empty your diaper on the sidewalk? Why did you wash my car with handsoap? Why don't you like Ashley Gibbs? Why are you smoking? Why did you buy that?

Or, give warnings. Finish your homework before you go out. Do that, before I count to three. Don't do that, or....

All the good advice and warnings and words of wisdom will be provided by the priest today. Love, honor and obey. Be kind. Respectful.

Hey, you and Jen have a pretty good basis, you know. Oh, not always perfect. Everybody's parents do really dumb things some times. But her folks have been married to each other for 34 years, and your folks for 33 years. And, we're all still practicing. We hope you and Jen practice that long, too.

Curt and I've talked a lot about you in the past few weeks.

When you climbed on top of the refrigerator and ate all the prescriptions when we didn't think you were even big enough to crawl onto the counter.

When you set the new cabinets on fire in New Jersey when you got up in the middle of the night to cook Pop Tarts.

How you stayed with me when we had the St. Bernard put to sleep. When your bike was stolen out of your hands on Mill Street in 1978. You were so trusting. You still are. And, generous, too.

How you always knew what others meant to say, when they couldn't find the words, or what they'd really like for Christmas. (The blow up penguin might have been an exception, but Curt's still wearing the slippers that look like dinosaurs and growl when he stomps his feet.) And what others are truly feeling.

How you hated it when people looked up to you, at 6 foot 8, and asked if you played basketball. Until you learned to look down and ask, "do you bowl."

I loved it when you told the baggage handlers in Mazatlan that, yes, you did indeed play basketball, for the Harlem Globetrotters, and they believed you. That was the same trip when your friend went along, wearing a leather dog collar.

We remember when you were born, of course. I'm sure you're tired of hearing that I was pregnant for 11 months, and that you broke the hospital record for weight and length.

And when you went to Iowa State. For six years instead of five. And studied in Rome. And bought the waterbed.

Oh, there are a lot of memories, thousands, millions. Too many to list, or embarrass you with here.

So, I'm still left wondering what to say.

I asked some other recent mothers of the groom for advice. All agreed that the mother of the groom has little to do today. Nothing.

"Just shut up, show up and wear beige," one said. The dress is in the closet. I've done my best, for once in my life, to keep my advice to myself. And, I'll be there.

Of course, I'll cry. I always cry when I'm happy.

And your father and I are very happy for you. We love you. We love Jen. And we hope your day is sunny, and bright, and happy, and that all the good and wonderful things you've done in your life come back to you today.

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