Lauren and David got married

This past weekend, my oldest son married the love of his life.

Lauren is an incredible person. She is intelligent, energetic, self-assured, and fun. By far, my favorite thing about her is the FUN part. As we say here at the Center of the Universe, “She’s good people.”

Having said that about Lauren, let me tell you a little about my son.

When David was just old enough to start climbing trees, but not quite old enough to stay in them, he started to climb a large maple tree that enveloped the entire expanse of our front yard. As he was about to begin his ascent, I just happened to exit our front door. Immediately, I barked out a very commanding, “Don’t climb that tree. You’ll fall out and break your arm!”

Satisfied that my parental super powers (being able to control a kid’s actions by just saying, “Don’t do that!”) would keep the world spinning as it should, I continued on my way, pursuing some long forgotten purpose. When I returned, David was sitting in the living room on the end of the couch — quiet and uncharacteristically inactive. He had, indeed, climbed the tree and proven my powers of prognostication by falling out and breaking his arm. Even then, David followed his own road — but, back then, it was a little bumpy.

When David was in his very early teens, he and I headed off on an epic two week vacation of a lifetime — a road trip to Key West. With, literally, only a day’s decision making and planning, we yanked out the back seats of the minivan, collected two weeks’ worth of homework assignments from his teachers, and headed south. As the miles rolled under our wheels, David entertained me by reading, aloud, the entirety of George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”. Together, we discussed the book, solved the problems of the world, and played the blues on our harmonicas.

In my early twenties, I travelled to the Keys several times. I was living the hippy lifestyle, sleeping on the beach, and hitchhiking my way down the Oversees Highway. By the time in my life that David and I were experiencing this vacation, I was affluent enough to get us a nice room on Duval Street and really enjoy the fun that is Key West. However, David had a sandier road to travel. He wanted to experience the oft told stories of my former bohemian way of life, live in the van, and sleep on the beach — and that is what we did. It was the best vacation of my life.

Now, my son is a grown man. He had a decorated career in the military, has an MBA and JD from THE Ohio State (I capitalized “THE” out of respect for his accomplishments, not for the football team), is an expert in the field of international business law, and is still following his own road. These days, that road is well-paved, accident free, and pointed in a specific direction. It is the road of a driven man — a man that knows exactly where he is going and how he expects to get there.

Folks, if it sounds like I’m bragging up my kid — yer damn-straight I am.

Now, this story is really all about Lauren and David getting married. It was a beautiful, picture-perfect, outdoor wedding — held under the wandering shade of palm trees in the afternoon Florida sun, cooled by breezes blowing in off the ocean. Unfortunately, in all the hub-bub of the weekend, I didn’t get to share, with Lauren, a few of my more poignant thoughts. Therefore, the rest of you can quit reading while I take this opportunity.

Lauren — all of the people that know and love your new husband are “over the moon” happy that you are part of our family. We are thrilled that you are travelling the road with him. We know that you are the best for him and that he will be at his best because of you. We know this because you are the one and only person that has ever been able to recalibrate his navigation system and experience the greatest of life’s detours. We know you will make sure he takes as many off-ramps as possible — and remind him what it is like to sleep in the sand on the beach.

 

Larry Wilson is a mostly lifelong resident of Niles. His optimistic “glass full to overflowing” view of life shapes his writing. His essays stem from experiences, compilations and recollections from friends and family. Wilson touts himself as “a dubiously licensed teller of tall tales, sworn to uphold the precept of ‘It’s my story; that’s the way I’m telling it.’” He can be reached at wflw@hotmail.com.

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