I never understood the big deal about weddings and tears. Maybe it's age or maybe it's having children of marriageable age, but my eyes are getting wet at all weddings these days.
This picture is from my son's best friend's wedding. I've known the groom since he was in third grade and his parents say he would still be in high school if I did not tutor him in math. The bride I met only once. Seeing her dad's eyes' all wet as he walked her down the aisle was enough to set me off. My son was best man and seeing these two young men, dressed to the nines in their tuxes, had me weeping again.
For me, this is the summer of weddings. I've already been to two and two more are on the calendar. The next one is the wedding of a former student. I remember this boy, sitting in class with his two best friends, dreaming about playing professional baseball or opening up a surf shop on the beach. He was far from a good student and only when I got to know him better, did I learn that he was just not interested in school. In spite of this, he graduated on time and went to a junior college. True, it took him six years to decide what he wanted to be and to graduate, but graduate he did. He went on to finish and is now teaching history and coaching baseball. His mom told me the graduation check I sent him is framed on his wall. I hope he cashes the one I am planning on giving him at the wedding. I know I will get weepy when he takes his vows.
The last wedding of the summer is that of the son of a guy I became friends with when I first began teaching. I will never forget this guy's face when his baby was born. He looked like he had a 200 watt light bulb inside his head. I never saw anyone glow with happiness so much. Over the years, I have watched this baby grow into a wonderful, responsible, fine adult and I know already the tears will flow as his parents escort him down the aisle.
I don't want to think about how much money I have spent this summer on wedding gifts (well over $1000). I want to think about the wonderful young people I have watched grow and be happy that I am able to contribute to their new lives together.