GAINING SONS

One minute I wish I had more to write and the next minute I have too much to write and am not getting any of it done because there is too much to do.

In the past two months, both my precious daughters got married to wonderful men. It’s so odd how I really never thought about how lucky I was to have two such great guys looking after my little peanuts. It just sort of happened like two gongs on the bell in the church steeple just before the rice gets thrown. One wedding was in Florida during tropical storm Debbie and the other was in New York on the heels of hurricane Issac.

As father of the bride, two times in two months, I presided over two overwhelming events, shimmering with sensory overloading nature, extraordinary looking brides, abundant sharing of love by family and friends, gorgeous photo sessions and heart thumping DJ driven dance marathons. It’s all still present in my mind as I make my feeble attempt to process it all with my humble brain designed for petting the dog, walking, shooting pictures and writing.

There were many wardrobe changes, lots of travelΒ  and of course the blending of families. My two little peanut girls, who together with me, made three, are an indelible unit that are happy for each other. My two little peanut girls used to look like this little girl who I found at an airport terminal as I flew to one of their weddings.

Also at that same terminal was a car riddled with bullet holes. A huge black Suburban truck, front and center in Charlotte Airport, promoting its impenetrable force despite an onslaught of effort to penetrate it. I didn’t know if this was some kind of magic foreshadowing, perhaps a protective sign about my daughter being safe from harm… or perhaps just an ambitious business advertising to the traffic coming through the airport, about a week before the Democratic Convention arrived.

A little further up the terminal hallway was a gift shop also capitalizing on the throngs of people who would be arriving. Just to be equal, they had Pezidential Candidate dispensers for both parties. The image of both candidates could be bought as wind up toys, capable of serving candy out of there asses.

I eventually made it up to Rochester, New York where I made my babies long ago. Over the course of their lives I must have passed this business a million times. It was called Greene Garage doors and it featured a Garage Door painted green, as seen from the street. For over twenty-five year, I drove past that green garage door and thought to myself, if I ever needed my garage repaired, I’d call those guys.

It wasn’t till this most recent trip, that I accompanied my daughter to a tanning booth, located in a building next to and behind what was once Greene Garage Doors; now just an empty storefront. For the first time in over a quarter century I got to see what was behind the proverbial curtain, the garage business with the punny name. And of course to my surprise, there was no garage there. It made me wonder about all kinds of things we think are there and are a certain way based on what we see, but behind the scenes there’s nothing there.

Later that day, I walked around the neighborhood as the bride went for a run before her nuptial weekend. I couldn’t resist the usual silly flowers beckoning to me.

I strolled around the neighborhood where we once lived when my girls were young, where my grown daughter lives now, and caught a lawn ornament.

And of course, another silly flower and a floating bee. It was so odd to stroll the streets I used to take them trick or treating when they were 5 and 6 yrs old, dressed up in little witch or fairy costumes. Now they are grown women too beautiful to even describe.

Lots of people ask me how I feel about “losing my daughters” aka “giving them away”. Well, in fact, I’ve never and probably will never feel that loss or lack. I never thought about this either, the way I’m not losing daughters, so much as gaining sons. It’s kind of exciting, never having raised sons. Son’s are different from little girls. One of my new sons, who has married my oldest daughter, seems to have this knack for finding, getting, catching and spreading poison ivy.

My other new son, who has married my younger daughter was also visiting. The first place we went together, was to take pictures at this place that had lot’s of poison ivy. I guess that’s what boys do with their new dad.

I have been taking pictures of my little peanut girls for almost 30 years, but never really thought about shooting sons. On this day, I shot them a few times, doing what sons do.

Once we got to this secret place beyond the poison ivy, there was a rainbow waiting for us. I guess that’s how life is, one has to go to places prohibited for travel, pass the perils of poison ivy, in order to get to the rainbow.

Some people chase the rainbow in order to get to the pot of gold. I was escorted in and found two boys at the end of the rainbow, to take care of my priceless girls. They are way better than any pot of gold.

Later that day, we did more things that boys do; we went to play Frisbee Golf. I’d never played this before, though I have certainly thrown a Frisbee as well as played golf, so I thought it should be a breeze. To my surprise, the Frisbees were special for this game, with no real edge to toss, like we used to have back in the day. These were golfing Frisbees and apparently they needed to be thrown really hard in order to fly far.

I’m not sure how exactly, but I think I may have dislocated my left hip trying to throw that stupid disc. I’m still limping from it, and the course is much more hilly than a regular golf course, so I’m pretty sure I also narrowly dodged a heart attack on the third par 5. So I was able to sit out and watch my two new sons, do what boys do.

As I started to shoot them at play, one of them realized he had never asked my permission to marry my daughter, so he figured he would do it while I was limping and panting. He’s a good guy, I of course said yes and then he wound up and threw that blue disc like an Olympic athlete.

Then, my other new son, took his turn and whipped his yellow saucer with the fierceness of a Yankee pitcher.

Over and over they wound up and whipped the driving discs. Again and again I watched as they did what I could not. I started to get the gist of how boys are different from girls and grew some macho pride for muscle and might where I once delighted in shopping for pink clothes at the mall and received life-giving kisses on my cheek.

One minute I have two daughters and the next minute I’m limping, breathless and have two sons. Life sure is full of surprises.

18 thoughts on “GAINING SONS

  1. The photos, especially the falls, are amazing. Looks like you have two fine ‘sons’ there. The limping, I’ve been doing that for years. I wish I could blame it on a game, but I think it has something to do with what people call “old age” and something I call ‘my wiser years’. πŸ™‚ Your daughters, ‘sons’, and you are fortunate to find ‘priceless’ at the end of your rainbow.

    • Paula… it’s so funny. I really didn’t even think to expect the question as I always felt more like I belonged to my girls then they to me. But I guess when a guy wants to do the right thing in all its tradition, they have to approach the scary mean father for the daughter. The girls are powerful, strong and independent and if those guys were chosen by my daughters, I’m sure they are superstars.

G'head. Say it.

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