The entire reason I am back for a visit in Canada, after having spent such a few short months in Switzerland, is because my cousin is getting married. And she did me the honour of standing up with me at my wedding last May so now I couldn't be happier than to return the favour and stand up beside her when she says her 'I do's' on Saturday.
And this whole marriage business has got me thinking about the two most important 'married' role models I have in my life: my mom and dad.
Here they are
Mom and Dad have been married for thirty five years.
That's a really long time in dog years.
But here's the thing about my parents--they still love each other; they still like each other; they still find the other person's lame jokes to be really funny.
Such jolly parents
My mom and dad are a united front. I don't hear them say a negative word against the other, and if my sisters or I try and complain to one parent about the other, forget about it: there is no sympathy for us.
Mom and Dad are a team.
There is no 'i' in team
And they have shown me that, just be default of the fact you love the other person, sometimes you have to suck up your own feelings about the matter and do something you might not want to do.
Like in my dad's case, go on a 54 km bike ride with my mom.
Like in my mom's case, watch the hockey game. Any hockey game.
(And Dan, I'm still learning the above lesson so currently the answer is still No, I don't want to learn how to play that video game where you shoot things. But hey, aren't you so excited to visit all the Christmas fairs with me this December??!!!)
(Clearly I have a long way to go to be on par with my parent's give and take relationship.)
These two compromise.
Mom and Dad have also shown me that as you grow older, it's okay to loosen the reins on your beliefs and not be so strict on the younger generation.
My sisters and I tested our parent's resolve and we proved to Mom and Dad that they can raise responsible humans who can graduate school, who can get jobs, who can pay taxes, who don't try and rob a MacDonald's, but if we did they raised us to be smart enough to wear a mask. They raised three kids who will hold open doors for people and who will always say please and thank-you. I think they feel they've done an excellent job. That three out of four ain't bad. And the fourth? Well, she's the new kid in town, and she doesn't hold doors open for people and she definitely doesn't say thank-you. (Though I have my suspicions that she might have robbed a MacDonald's.) She's the baby of the family who's spoiled rotten.
But Mom and Dad are okay with that, because this is the one kid who will always gladly go with mom on her crazy long bike rides, and who will happily snore alongside Dad as he watches the hockey game.
The fourth child.
Mom and Dad, thanks for being the parents you are.
For being the role models you are.
For finally, after thirteen long years, letting me drive the car.
For showing me, Meg, and Ais just how long love can last, and much fun it can be.
You make us proud.