A few words on my son’s wedding day

Today my son Kris is getting married.  It’s a small, simple ceremony, just him, his new bride, and a justice of the peace.  He promised me that there would be a more formal get-together when his new family visits the East Coast this summer.

Knowing that there are so many things I could say about getting married, even though I’m an entire continent away when the big moment happens, I’ll just offer these words of encouragement, advice, and support.

Such things as …

  • There’s always three sides to a disagreement.  Yours, hers, and the truth in between.  Find a way to get to the truth inbetween as quickly as possible.
  • Give a gift of flowers for no reason other than you’re still in love.
  • Keep a “date night” whenever possible.
  • Sooner or later she’ll support your fandom for the New York Giants.
  • Be supportive in tough times.
  • Be patient in rough times.
  • Be caring in smooth times.
  • Be honest in true times.
  • Fluffernutter sandwiches are fun to eat on rainy Sunday mornings.
  • There’s always a Stevie Wonder song for every occasion of your life.
  • Before you do anything, ask yourself, “Would I be upset if she did this to me?”
  • Take a two-day trip somewhere – pack the car and just drive.  Stop at a place where you can’t pronounce the town’s name, find a hotel with an old neon “Vacancy” sign, and claim that as your base for the trip.
  • Sometimes she will cry for no reason that you know.  Just be supportive and caring.
  • Stand your ground against hoarding or compulsiveness.  Those are signs that a marriage might be in trouble.
  • Learn how to change a car’s oil.
  • Learn how to change a car’s tires.
  • Learn how to change a car’s battery.
  • Learn how to change a car when the old one is needing oil, tires and a battery more often than necessary.
  • Relaxation comes in the form of a Chaplin / Miyazaki double feature.
  • You won’t have all the answers.  Neither will she.  That’s what a phone call to your parents is for.
  • Remember anniversaries.  Even the small ones.
  • It’s okay to sing “Don’t You Want Me, Baby” at the top of your lungs on a road trip if the Human League pops up on your radio.  Might not try that if the song is “Keep Feeling Fascination,” but you get my drift.
  • Do three things every day.  Laugh as hard as you can.  Have deep thoughts.  Move your emotions to tears.  That’s a full day.  Don’t credit me for that, that’s all Jim Valvano.
  • Fights and disagreements will happen.  Agree to take time-outs.  Don’t let anger fester, like mud-covered wounds.  You fell in love.  You can’t fall out of love that quickly.
  • Be proud of what you’ve accomplished.  Be reverent of those things you must still achieve.  Make sure the trail is blazed with positive efforts.
  • Silliness is accepted.  Being a knucklehead is not.
  • And remember one more thing, if anything else on this list hasn’t sunk in.  I am your father.  I will always love you, no matter what.  I am one phone call away when things are good; I am one phone call away when things are tough.  There is an old mantra that God will never give us a burden heavier than we can handle.  If you feel that you can’t handle something, call me, call your other relatives, call and ask for support.
  • Nothing you’ve ever done in your life has chased us away.
  • And nothing you’ll ever do from this day forward will keep us apart.

Oh yeah, one more thing.  Wedding ring goes on the third finger of her left hand.  Same one goes on your third finger of your left hand.

After that, it’s all on you, kid.

All thoughts and happiness and love.