July 7, 2017
My daughter Laura and her husband Joey are celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary today. We are watching their kids while they get away for a few days. (Happy Anniversary, Laura and Joey!)
I wrote each of my kids a letter on their wedding day, which I read at their reception. The following is the letter I read for Laura five years ago:
I thought when we sent you off to college we were safe. I had successfully run off your last boyfriend and we were sending you to a local college where we could keep an eye on you. We got as far as freshmen orientation and a boy, a Guerin Catholic boy no less, had already made his move.
Despite the fact that Mom and I already have plans for your bedroom, I will miss you. You have brought so much joy to our lives over the years. I remember you as a little girl – with two huge eyes that took up half of your head. And so much energy and personality…I mean so much energy and personality. Our world revolved around you. As a matter of fact, the whole family’s world revolved around you. Now that I think about it, you demanded that our worlds revolve around you. This is captured best in a classic family video in which your sweet little 3-year-old voice could be heard whenever the camera was not pointing at you, “Me, Daddy! Me! Me!”
You still get a lot of attention, but not because you demand it. You get a lot of attention because of the kind of person you are – a beautiful, loving daughter with a huge heart and a generous spirit. A gentle, caring soul – a nurturer. I’m not sure if you and Joey want to have children or not, because you never talk about it…but if you do, what an awesome Mom you’ll be! I can already picture you in your kitchen, baking cookies. You are in an apron and have a child strapped to you in a baby carrier, holding another child on your hip…a third child, a little 3-year-old boy with huge eyes that take up half his head, black curly hair, and a little mustache is tugging on your apron and yelling, “Me, Mommy! Me! Me!” I will cherish that mental picture…payback is sweet.
Stop by often. I will need your hugs. They are the best. I remember you telling me once (as a teenage daughter – an age when most kids stop hugging their dads), that you loved hugging me. You were at the perfect height, you said, so that your ear was right over my heart as you squeezed me tight in a Laura hug. You loved listening to my heart, you told me, because my heartbeat sounded like it was saying, “I love Laura!” This caused me a little concern as I thought I might have an irregular heartbeat…but I know that when I hug you, “I love Laura!” is exactly what I am thinking and exactly what I am feeling, so it wouldn’t surprise me at all if my heart was beating out that same message.
I do love you, Laura. I know Joey is your main guy now. I gotta be honest, that stings a bit – no Dad likes being bumped to #2. Despite the fact that I happen to like Joey, I will still miss you very much. So don’t be surprised if I show up at your apartment occasionally saying, “Me, Laura! Me! Me!”