Vail Daily column: Finally having a daughter
February 1, 2016
It has taken 56 years, three boys, two wives and two vasectomies (I'll explain some other time), but I am finally going to have a daughter.
Yes, try to hold back your ecstatic enthusiasm, but it's true.
Before February ends I will once again be anointed as a proud father, only this time the title will have "in-law" attached to the end.
Having three boys, of course, has been a blessing (calm down, it's just a figure of speech … ), but like most male-kids-only families I always wondered, and sort of hoped, to one day find out what it would be like to have a daughter.
OK, so I don't have the pleasure of raising her from birth and experiencing a female childhood from a parent's perspective, but I also don't have to deal with female hormones, those weird bodily changes, the revealing clothes, boys daring to come to my house, boyfriends in particular and just generally being paranoid 24/7 for her safety and well-being.
Boys are so much easier, at least I think.
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And in addition to gaining said daughter, I had the incredible honor of being asked to perform the wedding ceremony.
Stop laughing; this is for real.
Last summer the young couple of four wonderful years came over to the house one afternoon and asked if we could "talk" out on the back patio.
Usually these types of discussions involve monetary requests, so I grabbed a beer (which they brought, signaling my cynicism alarm right off the bat) and prepared to be enthralled with a financial scheme that would most certainly be to "everyone's" mutual benefit.
Instead I found myself fighting back tears of joy, humbled with the emotional pride of being asked to perform such an important part of their nuptials.
But why, or better yet, how, you ask, can an outspoken non-theist accomplish such a thing?
Simple, really, in that government eyes are secular in nature, and thus the legal marriage of two individuals in love is a purely secular event, no supernatural beliefs needed.
So yep, I am fully ordained to be a legal wedding officiant, as being ordained simply means one has the legal power to "order or decree" something in an official capacity, and in my circumstance it legally allows me to perform a wedding ceremony.
I know some of you are uncontrollably shaking the print off the newspaper right now, or perhaps slapping your keyboard silly, but hey, this is the 21st century — get used to it.
And realize doing so required a secular form to be filled out online along with a credit card charge for 55 bucks, and nothing else.
But don't get me wrong, as I love the pomp and circumstance of big church weddings (I've had two myself, thank you very little), but there is much to be said for the simplicity and tender beauty of a Caribbean beach wedding, especially as a dual-purpose member of the wedding party.
And don't forget this whole thing is about my son and soon to be daughter-in-law, not me.
I just happen to be fortunate enough to have the honor of making their special day just a little bit more special (as long as I don't screw the whole thing up, of course).
Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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