There are milestones. And then there are milestones. My baby girl got
married today. It was a milestone. Of the latter kind.
when I was in the middle of it, seemed like it would go on forever.
a demand that goeswith it (as
may have said) such that my life wasn't really my own anymore once I
Instead it was given to prepare
for life in
All of it. I don't know by what yardstick successfully preparing
for life in
could be measured. Even if there is such a yardstick, I don't know if
it's useful to measure by it at all. Yet something profound happened
today which may have just epitomized that yardstick, something by which
it's useful to measure this particular kind of accomplishment.
The photographer positions me facing the staircase down which my
daughter will walk on her way to the bridal car, a racing green 1969
Ford Mustang driven by her brother, which will take her and her
fiancé to the courthouse, and asks me to close my eyes. She'll
appear in front of me in her wedding dress. And when I open my eyes,
I'll see her resplendent in the one she chose for the occasion, for the
first time. Standing here, not knowing what to expect, I open my eyes
There are no words, just my gasp (audible). The beauty of the dress on
her, no longer a baby, now a magnificent woman on the verge of being
married, hits me like a warm shot to
My consciousness is suddenly crystal clear. I'm beaming from a place
where all beamings begin.
And I love her.
So much. So very, very much.
I see the dress, to be sure. It's awesome, elegant, stylish, totally
"her", downplayed in its haute couture, simply the most stunning
bride's dress I've even seen. Really. But it isn't the dress that makes
me gasp. Partly it's who's wearing the dress that makes me
gasp. She's simply radiant. I see that too. And still it isn't even her
radiance that makes me gasp. I've seen her radiance many times before.
I know it well. But it's not that. It's who she's being
that makes me gasp. It's awesome to behold. It's what
brings me to the edge of
It's the expression on her face, directed uniquely at me as I stand in
front of her my daughter, her father, job complete, on the verge of
giving away this goddess, my best friend, my precious baby girl. I just
stand there. And she just stands there, radiant. This is our moment.
Her expression says joyfully "Look Daddy! I've got this.
I love you
so much!". It's also non-verbally expressing the inclusive "Look how
great we are!" rather than just "Look how great
I am!" (which would have been true anyway). She makes it
our moment by leaning into and
with me what's really her great moment.
"Look Daddy! I can ride a bicycle!" she said when she was about four
years old ... and now (fast forward) "Look Daddy! I'm getting
married!". It's her unspoken expression "Look Daddy! I've got this.
I love you
so much!" that I won't ever forget. And it isn't just that now I know I
got my job done. It's that now I know she knows I got my
job done, and has taken on life in
with a family of her own. In this moment, the fact that I've gotten my
job done barely registers. Seeing her in front of me, more magnificent
than magnificent could or would ever be, is the gasp-inducing vision as
I open my eyes onto and see my baby girl, now a bride.