Yesterday was our daughter's wedding. It was beautiful and tender and even funny. I can't believe that one of our CHILDREN is now married. Weren't they just awkward pre-teens like...I don't know...last week?? Yet in just the past 6 years, we went from comical moments like this pre-Homecoming photo:
To this much more serious, and also adorable, but more deeply-affecting-to-parental-units-of-any-kind-photo here:
ACK! When did that happen?? And let me tell you, her birth mother, is feeling MUCH older right now, than her step-mother is here! The poor woman cried, worried, and all around seemed to feel insane, the entire week preceding this life-changing event. And now, after the fact, as I'm editing video and pulling out snapshots from the footage, I have time and opportunity to think about something related, and also important to me, yet today, I'm struggling with feeling a little selfish for thinking about it.
As we (Sharon and I) sat on the couch together reviewing the Flip cam footage of the wedding, our heads pressed together at the temples, side by side, watching this beautiful celebration of love...our daughter's love...another part of my heart...sank.
Would there ever be a time when we could do this same thing watching our OWN wedding? And IF so...when? Will we also have, by then, sat in this very spot watching our sons' weddings, our grandchildren's birthday parties? Will we marry when we're in our 60s, or 80s, or never be allowed that union at all?
And it reminded me of a discussion I had gotten into in the comment section of a YouTube video by one of my favorite vloggers, Philip DeFranco, otherwise known as "sxephil." He made some very bold statements about gay marriage, gays in general, the Catholic Church, PETA, and...I don't really remember what all else, but suffice it to say that if you're easily offended by pretty much ANYTHING, you shouldn't watch this video.
This is also TOTALLY NSFW. No...I'm serious here. And if you have small children...you probably won't want them in the room when you see it either. However, it is hilarious (like all of Phil's vlogs), so provided you can handle some very serious (and not so serious) adult topics without being offended...you'll want to see it.
DISCLAIMER: If you watch this and then find it offensive, please don't shoot the messenger. I'm using it because I like Phil (the vlogger), and I think offensive things can sometimes BE funny. Your mileage may vary.
Now in the comment section, of course, controversial discussion and arguing ensues. But there were a few things in particular that really stuck in my craw. For one, that marriage is only a "word," and we "gays" should be happy calling OUR unions something else. Sure...let's try calling "voting" something else if you happen to be a minority voter. Wonder how well that would fly?
Frankly, I believe EQUAL means equal, not almost the same, or well...pretty much the same, but...NO BUTS. Of course, we could just say everyone gets a civil union, and do away with the word marriage, but somehow (and for obvious reasons) a lot of people probably wouldn't like that...and they shouldn't. And neither should we.
Secondly, that marriage takes place in a church. Incidentally...our daughter did NOT marry in a church, was married by a judge...a female judge, no less. She had a lovely non-religious wedding and she indeed can call herself "married." She can say she is "married" simply because she is heterosexual. And for her mother and I...there is a bittersweet sting, therefore, today as we sit, Flip cam in hand, arms entertwined, side by side, on a couch we've had for years, in a home we've shared for as many...a home that is full of love and kindness, the home that our youngest son still shares with us...our home.
So I suppose what I come here to write about today, is love...and tradition. Not all traditions, are necessarily good things. For instance, traditionally, marriage is a "sacred" commitment between a man and a woman. Yeah...I'm not really seeing the "sacred" part of that these days, but okay. And the whole "tradition" is very interesting today, isn't it?
Today...I took some time to think about that. Sometimes traditions are the vessels that hold antiquated behaviors and ideas that no longer serve a valuable purpose. I'm not saying that all traditions are bad...the holiday season is a great time to think about this. We see traditions all around us, being acted upon and acted out. But some of them...may be more detrimental than good. And some may just need some adjusting. Just a thought or two or three...my 50 cents worth.