Recently I was upstairs getting ready for a wedding when I heard my toddler talking to his Daddy. They were looking through photos from his 3rd (and most recent) birthday party, a day filled with love and laughter, family and friends, and a long-awaited (yet somewhat surprising) engagement announcement.
"That's Uncle Rocco, " my boy said. "And that's Uncle Marek." He was clearly impressed with his ability to identify the people in the photos.
"Yes," said his Daddy, only half-way engaged in the conversation. Our son loves to look at photos on the computer, and so we find ourselves playing "identify the people in the pictures" on a very regular basis!
"They in love." It was a matter-of-fact statement, but it caught Daddy's attention, and mine.
"Yes, they are." Having Daddy agree clearly delighted my little one. And for a moment we both waited to see what would come next.
After a momentary pause, my son spoke in a tone that implied half-statement, and half-question as he struggled to remember something special about them and this day.
Finally, it hit him! "They getting married."
"Yes, they are!" Daddy exclaimed. And with that my boy burst into applause and laughter. He actually cheered "Yeaaaaah! They getting married!"
In that moment, I could not have been more proud. This teeny, tiny, little person that I created is present, compassionate, and loving enough to recognize what so many other people more than 10 times his age miss - That these two amazing men in his life love one another and plan to spend the rest of their lives together.
And in that same moment I had a brief, temporary heartbreak at the thought that, while an engagement has been announce, a legal wedding may take a little longer than we all have hoped. I found this thought to be devastating - as a human being, as a person on the planet, as a Mommy, and as a wedding planner. But those feeling were quickly washed away by my son's obvious delight at the upcoming wedding (in whatever form it may take) and in whatever small role he felt that he had in the announcement.
And isn't this what it's really all about?
Love is love. Pure and simple. Complex and daring. Rare, universal, delicate and strong. It is for all these reasons and more that I do what I do, and that I celebrate love between two people in any way it can be found.
I truly believe in love. And so, quite naturally, I believe in marriage. Marriage between a man and a woman. Or, between a man and a man. Or a woman and a woman. Marriage between races and religions. Marriage that transcends gender, state lines, language barriers, cultural differences and all the other life experiences and baggage we each drag along with us throughout our lives.
You know...The act of getting married is fairly simple. Print these papers, sign here, notarize there. It's all done in a second and it seems very easy. How we dress up the paperwork is the fun part, the glamour that we wedding planners get to bring to the process.
The act of being married is something completely different. A minister told me once, "There is nothing easier than saying words, and nothing harder than living the meaning of those words day in, day out, forever." Truer words were never spoken. Being married...Now that takes a lifetime. Marriage is an act of continuous love, longevity, commitment and compassion. It's looking across the room through endless every day tasks and finding a partner in the mundane. It's celebrating joys beyond belief in the building of a family, and finding an eternal partner and source of strength through hardships that I know have yet to befall me, personally, but are out there.
Uncles Rocco and Marek already have a marriage, of this I'm sure. And someday soon, I hope, they will have a wedding worthy of celebrating that love. Knowing them (and their newly appointed wedding planner, yours truly!) - It's going to be quite the party!
PS - Be on the lookout for Rocco & Marek's Love Story - A feature coming soon.