The Cast: Myself (the dad), Zander (the son).
Yesterday. It was today, but now…
As I have gotten older, the song Cat’s in the Cradle (1974, Harry Chapin) has developed more meaning for me. My own relationship with my father was good. We didn’t spend much time together, as we didn’t have similar interests—and that’s okay, but, our relationship was still a good one. I loved my dad and I knew he loved me. I was good with that. He was a good father.
I have four children, three of which have left the home. The oldest was married, got divorced, is a single mom, and now dating a great fellow. One just wanted to experience life and so moved to another state. The youngest is still at home and is a sophomore in high school. And, the second oldest just got married, yesterday.
Oh, that boy. Some families have ‘that child’ that tries their patience. The one that make them sick with worry. The one where police get involved. This son is that one. He is the reason I have most of my grey hair. He is the one that caused most of it to fall out. He is the one that really tested the bonds of what keeps a family together. And, I love him.
At times his spirit would be compliant or defiant. It could either work to his advantage or not. He would learn the lesson, or not. It was almost unpredictable, at times. While at other times, totally predictable. At the time, it often seemed to me as if just because I suggested it, or wanted it, Zander could not, or would not, comply. More grey, but also, less hair.
I still recall the time an officer brought him home because he had written something stupid on the back of a test in school. And, the many times we (my wife and I) had to call the police to help us (the family) deal with the situation our son had caused. A parent should not have to call their boss and say, “Sorry, I’m gonna be a little late today. I had to call the cops, again.” The kid is super smart but, sometimes… Ugh.
All that aside—because it’s in the past and done, he is a wonderful person. Intensely passionate, like his father and, extremely kind, like his mother. An interesting mix—to say the least. I have watched him transform from a cute little boy, to an awkward youth, to an obnoxious teen, to a good young man. Now, he is married… Wow.
My son met his wife while they were both serving God. She is a wonderful and lovely character. Absolutely adorable. They have fun together and complete each other (this is very good). They work well together. It makes us all happy. The ceremony was simple and they plan on holding the reception for a later date. They just got tired of waiting and wanted to marry and begin their lives. It’s what they want, and, I’m totally fine with that.
I am proud of the man he has started to become. I know that when I was his age the arrogance and pride that filled my chest was plentiful. He has much less of that—he is off to a good start. That passion and kindness I spoke of earlier has already caused some small issues with his in-laws. Only because he cares so very much. He is like his old man, he cares for his new bride with intense fervor. Nobody better mess with her (yup, like his old man). He is more like me than he may realize, or wants to admit. That fiery latin passion can be difficult to navigate—especially when young and inexperienced. It flows into everything. But, he seems to be finding understanding quickly.
I think that every parent wants that for their children, to be in a better spot than they were. I want all of my children to be better than me. To learn life’s lessons faster than I did. To succeed where I failed. To be more happy about things than I have been. I want them to be well, because I love them. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a good life. I have a loving and beautiful wife (for over 25 years). I have four loving children, and now a daughter-in-law. I have the greatest grandson. Two fantastic jobs that I love doing. God in my life. My life is good. I just want my children to have all that I have enjoyed, and more—in their own way. That’s all.
If you’ve ever seen Father of the Bride (1991) you might remember that scene where George Banks’ little girl tells him that she has met the man of her dreams (she’s actually 22 but, the dad stills sees her as a little girl). Dad’s don’t want to see their little girls get married. It takes them away from us. However, we don’t mind it if our sons do. It seems hypocritical, I know. But, I thinks it’s because we (as husband/fathers) understand what the boy is stepping into. That role of husband, provider, love, guardian, teacher, protector, father, mentor, and more. We relate, and, we are excited to see them begin. The daughter can’t go because, well, she can’t. That’s all. (we’re not ready for it)
I remember the day my first child was married. It was difficult. Very difficult for me. I was excited beyond words and terrified for her. I knew she could do it because she is strong. Powerful strong. I knew she could handle life. I just wasn’t ready for her to go yet. While I am not ready for my son to go, I am. I am scared for him and his new bride because I have been there. It can be a lot to take in, and look after. It can be overwhelming for some. However, I think he’ll be just fine. He has a good grasp on some things that I didn’t. He has come a long, positive way in a few years. He has found good things, and latched onto them. I look forward to today becoming a yesterday so I can behold what the future has brought.
I am beyond ecstatic for my son. This is a great time in life to be in. Young. A companion by your side. Life ready to be taken on (together). Challenges to be faced (together). It is a good time to be (together). So much to look forward to (together). Seize the day!—and all that (together). Because, time does not hold still.
The wedding was today, but, that was yesterday, and, it was good…