Common Thread

We Knew This Day Would Come

My wife and I, that is.

I guess it’s an expectation most parents have for their children—one day, once they’ve grown up, they’re going to get married. I’ve generally thought of it in terms of the last thing (which, of course, it is not) after all the other things like braces, driving lessons, prom dresses and college. It’s the kind of last thing that forever just seems so far away, time wise, and then one day that day is here.

As the proud father of three beautiful daughters, I knew that this day would come—my oldest has just gotten engaged to be married. And what felt like the last thing is proving to be the first of a new journey. Now there is planning to do, a date to set, a venue to pick, a dress to buy, a menu to select, guestlists, flowers, music, cake, photographer, videographer, and maybe most importantly a budget to set.

In the midst of all this planning and preparing I find myself wondering “where did all of the years go?”. How did my baby girl grow up so fast? One minute I’ve got her backed into the corner of a hotel room at Disneyworld, demanding that she let me pull her first tooth, which is dangling in the wind, so that we can say she lost her first tooth while vacationing in Disneyworld, and in a flash she is engaged.

Man, it sure does fly by in a hurry.

About 14 years ago, knowing full well this day would one day come, and yet while this day was still so far away, I bought a bottle of wine whose vintage was the same year as my daughter’s birth year. The idea or plan was that it would keep in our cellar until this day arrived, and that we would plan to celebrate with it at the after rehearsal dinner when she married. For all these 14 years, almost every time I would enter the cellar, that bottle, and the space it occupied, was a constant reminder of the day that would one day come.

As most folks know, wine changes over time, in the bottle. Kind of like people. And, not too unlike people, the care, environment and attention the wine receives over time has a profound impact on how well it does or does not age. Similarly, nurturing the relationships we care most about, whether they be our children, other family or friends, is vitally important.

Relationships change too. Daughters get married. Boyfriends become sons-in-law.

And the day you knew would come, finally does. But it brings with it, so many new days to come.