Last year when Bugster and Bubster got married, there wasn't really a reception. They got married at the courthouse just after 5, when the judge was available. We then went to a neat little pizza joint, where we surprised them with the wedding cake I made, and we hung out with them for a couple of hours that evening. But there wasn't a reception in a formal sense.
This year, things will be more formal. They will have a ceremony, followed by a reception. There will be eating and dancing and toasting and hopefully, some pinata demolishing.
And with my nephew's wedding just days away, I started thinking of the traditions of a reception. The first dance for the bride and groom. The father/daughter dance. The mother/son dance. The money dance, where as many people as can pin money to the bride and groom to dance with them for a moment before the next person steps in, all in attempt to give the happy couple a little extra cash with which to start their lives. And of course, we mustn't forget The Hokey Pokey.
They are going to have a blast!
As my mind wandered down this train of thought, it wandered to my own wedding reception 25 years ago, when Daddy asked me, if he "could have this dance."
I remember being a bit embarrassed when I admitted that I didn't know how to officially dance. I mean, I danced with Hubster, but not a Waltz or a Two Step. I could only dance Clingon. As in I would Clingon to Hubster, and he would Clingon to me. Which, incidentally, is the only dance either of us knows to this day.
But when I think of that dance with Daddy, I can feel the butteflies in my stomach all over again, my eyes begin to well with tears, and the smile cannot be wiped from my face. I feel his hand on my waist and the rough, calloused hands of a man who worked for a living under my fingertips.
I had the giggles. I was nervous, even though I knew Daddy wouldn't judge my lack of dancing ability. But I wanted to please him. I wanted to do it right. I wanted to make him proud.
He sensed my nervousness, likely, because I was stiff as a board. He told me to relax.
"There's nothing to it."
"Just follow my lead."
"Those were my toes."
School girl giggles.
"I'm glad you're happy. Hubster seems like a fine young man."
"Thanks, Daddy. I am happy. And he is an amazing man."
"I said I'd lead!"
"You're doing fine."
"But just follow me. I'll lead."
The giggles turned to guffaws, as we joked and teased one another, and I stepped on Daddy's toes repeatedly, as I tried to lead, without knowing the first thing about dancing. It was such an intimate moment with my daddy, and it's one I will cherish for the rest of my life.
I want that for Bugster. I'm trying to talk Hubster into learning a Two Step or a Waltz, so he can have that experience with Bugster, too, but even a Clingon will do.
Because they both need to experience that intimacey and closeness and the giggles that only a father/daughter dance can bring about.
So that years from now, when Bugster is driving 1000 miles across country to go to a cousin's wedding, she can tear up at the wonderful and fond memories of that special dance with her daddy.
So she can still feel the butterflies of excitement, fun and nervousness of dancing with her daddy.
So she can feel the calloused hand of a man who works for a living beneath her fingertips.
Because everyone needs to have something so wonderful that nothing can wipe the smile from their face at the mere memory.
This post was written in the car on the way to our nephew's wedding a couple of weeks ago. It is dedicated to the best dad in the entire world, who we lost too soon 4 years ago this week, because it's always too soon to lose someone as beloved as he was and is. I miss you, Daddy, but I'm so very thankful God gave you to us kids as our very own Daddy! I love you from the bottom of my heart, and I can't wait to see you again someday.
Compulsive hoarding is a mental disorder that is just beginning to be understood. As a hoarder, I have acquired things over the years with a specific purpose in mind at the time of the acquisition, used some of those items for their intended purposes, forgotten the goal for different objects, but now that I find that they have outlived their purpose in my life I am struggling to rid myself of those same things.
You can read the start of my journey here.