The Wedding

paI’m at a bit of a loss. I’m finding it hard to write about the Golden Delicious Apple wedding. It’s just too big. Too complex. Too lovely. It’s like my words are shiny marbles and a big jar of them has been upended, sending them pinging all over the floor and I’m trying to gather them up with thick woolen mittens, sending them scattering ever farther, slippery, shiny and elusive. Or maybe I’m a cowboy and my words are my herd of cattle who are acting mighty peculiar. No matter how hard I try, the cows just ignore me and mill around, some of them flop on to their backs, laughing hysterically, a little group of them is dancing over the hill yonder (where did they get those maracas?), impossible to wrangle. Or maybe my words are shards of a champagne glass, exploded into a million pieces after a dramatic fling into the fireplace. Pick whichever absurd metaphor you like, but I’m at a loss. For words. For once.

This wedding is the first in our family after mine and Dash’s exactly twelve years ago, putting us in the unique and lovely position of bearing witness from what feels both up close and far removed. I remember my wedding like it was yesterday, and yet so much has happened since August 2, 1997: four moves, two law firms, graduations from med school, residency and fellowship, four homes and three children. Not to mention all the minutiae of life that piles together seamlessly and invisibly to make a day a day, an hour and hour. How many diapers, cups of coffee, baptisms, first communions, bandaids, popsicles, plane trips, glasses of wine, first days of school, baby teeth in, baby teeth out, date nights, books, broken bones, middle of the night fevers, bowls of cereal, bike rides, frogs caught, screaming matches, kisses, hugs, counters wiped down, mosquito bites, apples, paychecks, birthday cakes, new shoes, dinner parties, walks to the bus stop, dances in the kitchen, piles of snowy boots and sandy towels are behind us? How many are ahead? And what else lies down the road?

How many ways are there to measure life?

I fully expected to have a lot of fun at this wedding. But watching Golden marry his beautiful bride, Delicious Apple, had the unexpected effect of bending a page in our book, of bringing into focus where Doctor Dash and I are as a couple and where we are as a family. I feel like we are pretty early in our journey together, yet look at all that has happened already. Everything Golden and Delicious Apple have been doing since they fell for each other in high school, every last detail of their beautiful and rowdy wedding, all of it, is so that they will have what we have. It all starts here. Everything is in front of them.

And although I clearly remember the feeling of just starting out, of excitedly setting off for our honeymoon, of settling in to our first home on St. Botolph Street in Boston’s South End, I can now look in the other direction, at my parents, and feel a vague heart wringing whisper of understanding for what they must be feeling. Chuchi and Lelo are a lot further on in their journey than we are and what a rich, complicated, brave and blessed journey it is. They are in a great place. They got to watch their Golden boy marry the woman he has always loved. They got to watch their other son, El Maestro de Bife, give a masterful toast, working over the room with more humor and tenderness than I would have thought possible in a single speech. They got to watch all their children and grandchildren throw down on the dance floor and love each other up. All their work, all their worrying, all their love has propelled them to a point where they can finally watch, and smile, and breathe a huge sigh of relief.

And now I see that every single thing Dash and I do, is so that someday we will have what our parents have: children who have grown up thinking love is a given, eventually realizing love is a treasure to be held close and cared for; children who hopefully find a love big enough to spark a whole other story, a brand new journey uniquely their own.

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