I have been absent from the blogosphere for a few days in order to be present at a family event. My oldest, Susan, and her First Mate, Andy, invited a small contingent of family and friends to support them in a Handfasting ceremony. We gathered in a woodland setting to witness their vows and verbalize our advice and wishes in a ritual with varied symbolism. The result is, finally, that they are engaged. They will now begin to plan the final steps toward Marriage, which for my daughter has been a big, scary journey into never-ending adulthood that has made her skittish for years. This social event has her two sisters and at least one future sister-in-law completely ecstatic, and sent them into a frenzy of beautifying and picture-taking that reminded me of their school days on the cheerleading and pom-pom squads…
Girls will be girls
My son was much more restrained and tired from his night shift joband travel, but he surprised me by looking more like his dad than ever before.
For Susan, the event put her in the spotlight in a way that made her very nervous and vulnerable, but to her credit, she was aware of the neurotic nature of that anxiety and owned it with humor. Which only made her more adorable to Andy.
During the ceremony itself, I really wanted to pay attention to the real time emotion and meaning of the moment. While others snapped pictures, I put my camera down and watched the expressions of my daughter intently as her beloved read his vows and she read hers. Together they fashioned a three-stranded cord and allowed themselves to be bound together. I was in tears watching and hearing and feeling and believing right along with them.
Afterwards, of course, we had feasting and drinking and gifting at a Chinese restaurant.
If we all look like we are glowing and flushed, I can assure you it’s not because of quantity of drink so much as the fact that it was almost 100 degrees Fahrenheit outside, and it was, after all, an outdoor event.
The heat wave continues, and the wave of good feelings does, too. My daughter is grown and growing; she is building a very strong, very loving, very supportive relationship with a person she has admired since she was 11 years old. And it is very good. I suppose I can now take a sabbath rest for a day…I’ve been given tomorrow off from work because of the hot weather.