A quick piece of housekeeping . . . I like comments, and I’m not easily offended. Tell me what you think when you read these posts; I’d love to hear from you. On with the blog, now.
There’s been quite the excited buzz around here in recent days, since today marks Nonno and Deedaw’s fiftieth wedding anniversary. Nonno and Deedaw are my husband’s parents, and a more wonderful example of what marriage means would be difficult to find. Celebrating this joyful milestone will occupy most of our waking hours this weekend, and much of this week has been devoted to preparing the kinds of festivities that are pleasing to Nonno and Deedaw. These tend to center around family and faith; they will be renewing their vows and spending time with relatives who are traveling hither from yon.
Bugaboo finds all of this fascinating. She gets that Mommy and Daddy are married to each other, Nonno and Deedaw are married to each other — you get the idea. She also understands that some people who were married to each other aren’t anymore. While she may not yet be able to conceive of how long a time fifty years is, she knows it’s longer than Mommy and Daddy have been alive, and since Mommy and Daddy are “old,” fifty years must be a tremendously long time.
She and Beanie are, naturally, excited about all the parties and about seeing people they love, but rarely see because they live such long distances from us. They have been busily engaged in helping select deli trays and wrapping plastic cutlery in napkins secured with construction paper bands, hearts, and stickers, and have watched avidly while I do incomprehensible things with wired ribbon and tiny silk roses. Unsurprisingly, they have also listened to many a conversation with Grandma (my mother), and thus have picked up on some new vocabulary, which has added some variety to the constant fusillade of questions posed by my extremely curious daughters. Mr. Man listens intently, too, but his speaking skills are not yet developed to a point where he can add to the hubbub.
At any rate, Bugaboo and Beanie have also been curious about this notion of “renewing vows.” I explained to them that a vow is a promise that you make in front of God that can never be broken, and that Nonno and Deedaw wanted to repeat those promises they made fifty years ago to each other. It’s a special kind of celebration, I told them, the kind that makes us thank God for holding them close to Him and to each other for all these years, and a way to remember a day that was among the most important in their lives. Those of us who weren’t there half a century ago will be able to join them in a celebration of a love that has lasted a lifetime. The young ladies were duly impressed, and both declared that one day, they will find someone with whom to share a lifetime.
Bugaboo has two stuffed penguins who have been her sleeping buddies since she was big enough to have sleeping buddies; there is a large one with a scarf who she named “Doctor Pengie,” as she thinks his scarf looks like her pediatrician’s tie, and a smaller one named “Dada Pengie,” so named, saith Bugaboo, because he has a round belly like Daddy. They are her besties and boon companions, and no childhood joy or trauma has she endured without one of them tucked under each of her little arms.
Given all the talk about marriage over the past weeks, I knew that somehow it would end up being the subject of some play among the girls; they’re at an age when playing make-believe is the greatest game in the world, because they get to play-act all the grown-up things without having to pay the bills or worry about other logistical details. However, I had to pull the van over on the way to playgroup this morning when Bugaboo declared, “Mommy, Doctor Pengie and I got married last night, and Dada Pengie is our little boy. We need our own house now, right?” because I was laughing so hard I couldn’t steer.
I think I’ll save the explanation of why she can’t marry a penguin for another day — preferably for a day after she finally gets around to asking how the babies get into their mommies’ tummies.
Today’s prayer: Lord, thank You for Nonno and Deedaw, who have set for us and for Your blessings a beautiful example of what You intended marriage to be. For fifty years, they have been one, for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. Having them here is a blessing that could only come from You. Please, Lord, bless them with joy and peace in their remaining years, and help their children and grandchildren increase that joy by following their example of faith and trust in You and Your law.
And, Lord, thank You for showing me that keeping promises is not an anachronism. You keep Yours always, but it seems that we have trouble with ours sometimes. It’s good to have a reminder that yes, it is possible, and that it brings the greatest of joys.