When our firstborn son was a toddler, we took him to a park and stayed until dusk. My parents were in town for a visit.
They got the biggest kick when our chatty boy noticed the glowing moon hanging up there in the darkening sky. He pointed up and said several times, “See moon, see moon?”
It became a lasting catchphrase for Grandma and Grandpa.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when a room full of family and friends watched our son glide out on the dance floor with his beautiful bride to none other than Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon.”
My cheeks still hurt from smiling at their happy faces and the swirling tulle and their swank debut as a married couple.
The whole day, and mostly the whole build-up to the day, reminded me how weddings are a force of nature. Once the question is popped, it turns into a form of energy, a shining stone that arches into the atmosphere. It lands in still water, sending ripples to people who know and love the couple from near and far.
It was amazing to witness, perhaps to the grumpiness of some, how one single wedding can stimulate so many economies. Men shuffled into suit stores. Women hunted down spring dresses. Registry printers hummed. Delivery trucks circled.
But most of all, a large group of dear people starred their calendars to gather in one place for one special time. Guests came from down the street, up the highway and across the state line. They flew in from New York, Texas, Guam and places in between.
As a result, I can spin these words a million ways, because a million things happen when we celebrate the joining of two sweet souls.
And a million things could go wrong if you think about it. Which is exactly what I did. Because I am me. I thought. I overthought. The “what ifs” became a task I secretly assigned myself a year ahead of the big day.
“What if there’s a severe storm? May is peak tornado season.”
“What if Grandma and Grandpa aren’t up for the trip?”
“What if a critical vendor goes missing?”
“What if they serve bad romaine lettuce at the rehearsal dinner, and we’re all wiped out?”
Like most professional worriers, I fended away such disasters by merely thinking about them. The more scenarios I envisioned, the more I prevented. Just by thinking about them. That’s how it works.
But as I said, weddings are a force of nature, a tsunami of many behind-the-scenes acts of love, sacrifice and some old-fashioned luck.
There was no storm.
My dear brother and sister-in-law (heroes) escorted my parents from New York to Kansas. A miracle right there, because my mother swore off airplanes many years ago. But she said, way up in the air on the way home from the wedding, “I decided I would go or die trying.” Her words melted my heart.
All the key vendors showed up and did spectacular work. (Except one glitch that involved the mother of the groom and her hair. A scenario I failed to envision and thus prevent. I’m still laughing at that one. Maybe.)
Even the rehearsal dinner romaine lettuce was crisp and triple-washed. What more can a germ cop in a corsage want?
It all worked out. I tip my hat to the newlyweds, especially my beautiful new daughter-in-law, for planning so many sweet details to give all of us this memory.
And that night, when we left the reception, the air was still. I was exhausted from dancing in the wrong shoes and laughing and talking and beaming at my son and his wife. I looked up to the heavens. The stars were out, and everything was bathed in moonlight.