She had a request. “I just want to dance with you at the wedding.” The plans weren’t set yet. Would the bride and groom even dance? Her son, the groom, wasn’t sure. “But it’s tradition” she retorted. She was cautioned, “Let’s let them plan their wedding”.
The emotions of wedding plans run high. It had been one of those weeks for the starry-eyed couple. The growing burden of getting it all together in 4 short months grew even larger with the tugs and pulls of family likes and dislikes, hopes and dreams, traditions and changes. Family and friends have habits and visions of how they see it happening, how they want to live through that special day and when it’s all said and done, exactly how they want to feel. It can make for harried and discouraging weeks in the otherwise joyous journey to a pinnacle event.
And in the background is another side of reality. “A man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife” The groom does not much notice this leaving. He is, as he must be, geared up for the new responsibility. “Bring it on.” But there is a tearing away in this leaving felt by father and experienced more sharply by mother.
The wedding process is not unlike the adventure of a hot air balloon. The prospect of it evokes a glorious image, bright colors and large against the open sky. The plan begins soft and silent, lifting off with effortless ease, almost unnoticed, until the shrinking features below open up a wide expanse and the rising dawn shows a more precarious position. Outside forces control the journey more than at first imagined. Winds aloft jostle the once secure-feeling basket. As it descends to the final event a rogue gust sweeps it off course. It will come down close but not exactly at the intended destination. The landing might jar a bit as the basket digs into the turf with last-minute adjustments.
For the bride and groom the balancing act can be daunting. In the end, isn’t just for them? Isn’t it all put together to see her in white, shimmering and sparkling toward the one who makes her his own? Yes it is, it’s really all about them… and yet…
…I just want to dance with you.
“Wasn’t it me that held you in the night until the fever passed? Didn’t I watch you get on the bus, my tears bubbling up, all by yourself for the very first time? I am excited for you, I’m afraid, I’m overjoyed, she is so precious, will I lose you now? Someone else will remind you to take your jacket and grab your lunch. I’m so happy to invite a new daughter in, will you still love me? Am I still important to you?”
A wedding centers around the bride and groom and yet it does reach beyond. It goes to tradition, to family, to meanings, to friends, and to matters of the heart. It is gain and it is loss. This morning in the shower I saw that tug and pull in sharp relief and I cried. Tears joined the warm streams of water as I saw deeply into a mother’s heart, into my wife’s heart.
“I just want you to dance with me.”