I think I have almost recovered from the wedding weekend. I can’t believe how much energy all of that activity took out of me. Sunday, after we returned home, I felt hung over. No, I hadn’t had a speck to drink, but I had a horrid headache and was so exhausted that I slept on the sofa for a couple of hours without stirring. Honestly, it all felt pretty good, though. It was a good weekend, and once I was in the midst of it all, I didn’t miss that glass of wine at all (although I did enjoy the club soda and lime “cocktails” my mom made me for happy hour in their hotel room).
We left Friday because we were expected to attend the rehearsal dinner. This was to be a huge wedding with all of the fanfare. I knew the rehearsal dinner would be the first time I would see my dad, although I had planned not to tell him anything until the end of the wedding itself. I didn’t want to take away from my brother’s spotlight. Once we were there, things changed. For some reason, the restaurant set us up at multiple tables. We happened to sit at a table with my brother’s best friends and their wives/girlfriends. His roommate whispered a congratulations to J and did the same for me across the table. I was stunned. We asked him how he knew, and he confirmed what we knew already: my brother has a big mouth. It seemed that the news was sort of spreading beyond our control. The brides parents knew (brother’s wife also has a big mouth), and they were sitting at the table with my dad. Finally, J was speaking with my brother and asked him what he thought of us telling my dad after the wedding. He said, “No, I think you should tell him now. It’s a good time.”
And that was that.
I asked my dad to step outside with me. We had been exchanging small talk all evening, even shared a hug, so it wasn’t going poorly at all. Once we were outside the restaurant (in the rain), I asked him what he thought of being a grandfather. He looked at me for a second and said, “Well, that would be pretty cool!”
“How does September sound to you?” I asked
I could see the wheels in his head turning; then his eyes grew larger, and he said, “Really?!” I then confirmed that I was pregnant. He gave me a huge hug and just couldn’t contain himself. He was crying and shaking. We stood outside under the awning for awhile, and talked, and he just kept hugging me and telling me he loves me and that he is so happy. When we went back into the restaurant, he went straight to Jodi and gave her a huge hug, congratulating her, and then we went back to our respective tables to get some food. My brother was at his table, and he said my dad was shaking and couldn’t eat he was so excited. His reaction was priceless and so very sweet.
After I told my dad, everyone seemed to know. My brother is a firefighter paramedic, so he and his friends are very close, and as a result, I have always known them. They are some of the best people I know. I found myself throughout the evening being embraced by these sweet men who were so happy for the two of us. It was overwhelming. J and I have been keeping this news so close to us for so long, so to have it out there in the open and discussed so freely was a lot to grasp. And yet, it was freeing in a way.
The wedding the next day was stunning. There were moments that were difficult–the religious elements, for example–but it was really just beautiful. It was a rather formal evening wedding, so we were all dressed up. The bride and groom were just smashing in black and white, and everyone had a lovely time. The guys kept pulling J and I out on the dance floor. I don’t know that I’ve ever been twirled and swung around by that many men in my life. One of them even grabbed my 87-year-old grandmother and danced with her. Everyone had a lovely time, and I am so very happy for my brother.
More people were told that night–an aunt and uncle, a couple of cousins–and it felt better, more natural. The one important person left to tell is my grandmother. She doesn’t hear well (and refuses to get a hearing aid–she claims she hears just fine), so I couldn’t tell her at the wedding, so I’m formulating a strategy. I’ll write more about this later, as it is fairly complicated.
It is incredible to have this whole event behind us. Telling my dad was better than I thought it would be, and it gave me a little hope. Now, I’m no Pollyanna about it all–he’s going to have to prove himself–but I want to give him a chance to be a part of his grandchild’s life, to share with him the next generation. I know he is grateful for this gesture I have made, and only time will tell what he does with it. For now, I’m happy to have brought a smile to his face, to have shown him that there are still some things worth getting up in the morning. He needs that. Hell, we all need that from time to time.
I leave you with a few pictures. Who doesn’t like wedding photos, after all?
The first is my dad and I:
J and I with one of the firefighter friends:
And J with our adorable niece (there’s nothing like a baby in black satin):