Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Blessings, Monkey Business and Brooms

My baby brother is getting married this Friday. I say “baby” because there is a 15-year age difference between the two of us.

I’ll never forget when my mother told my brother Chris, who was 11, and me that she was expecting. He burst into tears and I burst into laughter. I suppose the little prince was saddened he would no longer reign as youngest. My response was, “And you were worried about me?” I had just gotten “the talk.” I followed it up with, “Aren’t you a little old for this?” Fortunately, my mother’s hormones weren’t raging that day and I didn’t get the smack I deserved.

At that time, being pregnant at 39 was considered very high risk. But the surprise, or “blessing,” turned out well. I can’t imagine our family without David. He added fun to the mix. This was before ADHD was the diagnosis du jour, so he was simply described as high energy. He climbed everything and anything. My parents had to install bars on his bedroom window. Once, my friends and I even handcuffed him to a chair to keep him still for a few minutes.

Besides being a monkey, he was a matchmaker. At age five, he helped set me up with my husband – our family dentist. During an appointment, with teddy bear in hand, David informed Damian that I was bringing my boyfriend to his Chuck E Cheese’s birthday party, but that next year he was expected to be there. He proceeded to firm up plans for us to meet out one night.

While we were engaged, David referred to my husband as “my sister’s new daddy” and the “broom.” He told everyone he was going to be the “ring bear” and wondered where he was going to get his costume.

He did a great job on my wedding day. I can still remember his smile as he danced into the reception to “Meet the Flintstones.” David grew up to be a great kid and made up for those terrible toddler years. He became an Eagle Scout, graduated college and is gainfully employed. Today, one would never guess the lazy lug on the sofa was that hyperactive kid.

Now, it’s his turn to be the “broom” and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of his big day. I already love his fiancée Jessica like a sister. They complement each other in every way and they are off to a great start.

David, Chris and I have excellent role models in our happily married parents. They make it look easy. The problem is that it isn’t always easy. There are surprises - like David! I suspect he is a romantic like me and I want him to be prepared for the inevitable ups and downs.

The following is from Plato and I had it read at my wedding ceremony. When I’m disappointed by flaws in the "fairytale,” it reminds me that we’re not striving for perfection – just our own individual brand of love.

“Perfect love is a god, divine, everlasting, and as unattainable by human beings as the stars. In that form, love has existed in the universe since the beginning of time and will endure forever. On the other hand, there exists also the individual brand of love, which strikes us here on earth like a glint off the sun, making us suffer, pine, rejoice, and sometimes, marry. – Plato.

Congratulations David and Jessica!

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