Part the First: Ready, Set...,
As of today, I have had a son for over a month and a half. He was born to me at a little after 4 p.m. on December 4, 2010. His name is Baron and at about 6’2” and about 240 pounds; he is a big one. He’s also 23 years old. Someone else had the job of raising him and feeding him up to this point, and now he is in the care of my daughter.
Let me back up for a bit. My girl met him at school a couple of years ago. They hit it off, and decided to get married. That decision set into motion a whole series of events that can only be compared to a force of nature.
A woman (women) with a wedding in her (their) sights can be formidable. Intense. Frightening. If weddings were up to guys, they would be a lot different; quick, easy and not really a big visual or symbolical deal. I will just leave it at that. I have another reason for this piece, and it is not to start an argument about what is important in a wedding.
We caravanned up to New Braunfels in the Silver Bullet from Hades and Katie’s Saturn and the trip was very nice that first Friday of December. We got to one of the most beautiful little towns in Central Texas and met up at a barbeque joint for lunch with the bride-and-groom-to-be, along with much of the bridal party and their dates.
After a nice barbeque lunch, we adjourned to the Elks Lodge in downtown NB for a decoration party, readying the venue for the reception. That was when the tension became palpable. There was much to do in the hall; setting up and decorations for all the tables, the cake and candy and punch tables had to be made up, set up and decorated, and there were countless other tiny details that made everyone realize that we had one shot at this, and that the wedding of the year was happening in just about 26 hours.
Still, being a guy, I took most of it in stride. Although the principal women involved were showing signs of stress, I was, as usual, going with the flow. I was charged with setting up the framed portrait of the happy couple, the lattice screens for the cake table, the cake stand and the sign-in table. Baron’s family, our family and the young people that came along with the wedding party were all pitching in and doing a fantastic job. The transformation from a 60 year-old small-town lodge for old German guys to wedding reception setting was complete.
With that formidable task dispatched, it was time to retire to the hotel room and prepare everyone for the rehearsal. Showers were taken, hairs were foofed/straightened, and faces shaved. OK, just my face was shaved, since once again, I was the only male in my clan.
Everyone dressed the second best that they would look that weekend, and all converged on Cross Lutheran Church. A beautiful new structure, this was the first wedding to be held therein. Open and airy, the limestone, glass and steel edifice was impressive. The sanctuary was a wide amphitheater with a sloping floor that led down to the raised altar. I’m not sure when construction was finished, but it can’t have been long. See, as a guy, I’m noticing the structure of the place where my very first child is about to marry a guy who will be her protector for the rest of her life. Lots of nice woodwork, too.
The pastor gathered us all together in the sanctuary and began to instruct us in the finer points of getting through a wedding. Y’all stand there till this song then this will happen then the wedding party will start to commence down the aisle then you’ll be here and I’ll say this then he says that and then he sits down and then we come up here and I’ll say this then this song will play then you’ll kneel here then…
So we all huddle up and head to the back of the church for the big dry run. The groomsmen and the girls sashayed down the aisle, and then it was time for the flower girl. GULP…this is the second before the big moment…When that music started for the Bridal March, the big, pretty room got a little blurry, and a little sound escaped the lips of my daughter. OH NO, she’s gonna cry! Why can’t I see the preacher in focus? Like he’s a mirage…My girl said under her breath, “Oh no, Mom is crying…” and that cranked up the waterworks on the bride-elect. I saw her mother over on the left and sure enough, her face was contorted in a vain attempt to stem the flow of tears. I lumbered down the aisle on half-blind auto-pilot.
Well, we got past all that without too many casualties, thankfully, and even did another dry run, which went all light-hearted and fun. Gone was the gravity of the situation. For now.
The rehearsal dinner was held at the historic Forke Store at the New Braunfels Conservation Society plaza. Built in 1865, it had all sorts of great stuff from the days before the internet. And prior to electricity, for that matter. Our dinner was a generous fajita spread catered by the Adobe Café, and was excellent. The company was great, the food was good and we all had a grand time.
Back to the hotel to ready ourselves for the biggest day of our lives, so far.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Part the First: Ready, Set...,