It’s T minus 7. The little one’s wedding is but a week away.

There is nothing more magical than watching one of your kids…an adult…exchanging, in the language of our ancestors, vows.

This will be our third time through. I can’t imagine how “Zayde” (actually my maternal great-grandfather) did it. Grandma Bogart was one of 17. 17! (Two touchdowns and a field goal). I wonder if HER mother was even there–she was probably in labor at the time!

Michael was married in New York. It was black tie, exquisite, and (like my wedding), the betrothal of two first-borns. ‘Twas also the first peaceful moment spent with my ex-wife since the Clinton era.

I don’t recall escorting him down the aisle, but my mind’s eye has us all under the canopy. Somehow we just got there.

Michael was tall, handsome and confident. Studying him, my mind held a panorama of thoughts…past, present, and future—interrupted only by periodic wipes of the eye.

They were tears of pride and joy. And yes, I kept thinking of time “flown.” One scene stood out against the canvas of the past:

Within 24 hours of grabbing OSU’s diploma, our son abandoned Ohio to conquer the world. We’d driven across the country; he’d been deposited on “The Island” with Aunt Rose and Uncle Fred Orenstein. A job in the Big Apple awaited.

Just one year and three months to the day later it was 9/11. He called that night to say he was OK. I thought about it as the rabbi spoke.

“Maybe you should come home,” I’d offered. By then the First Born had entered New York Law School. “Transfer here. It’s safer.”

“No, Dad.”
”Why not? You can always move back to New York?”
He didn’t seem to get it. He wasn’t budging. Wasn’t I his father?
(Maybe I just didn’t get it).
“Dad, people here aren’t running away. We’re not afraid. You don’t run away from things!”
My son was steadfast; he had learned a life lesson I was only beginning to appreciate.

Oh, how he’d grown.

And so it was that on October 28, 2006, I relived the phone call, eyed my boy… so tall, so grown….and marveled at what had become. A man.

Jamie’s wedding was outdoors. Miles away. Jamaica.

The backdrop was the Caribbean and as this beautiful blond, (bred of two Jewish parents), descended the concrete steps of a beach-side patio…I worried. Would she trip? The dress seemed so long!

Her hair was straight back; her blues eyes shone. She was beautiful. She was natural. She was elegant.

More tears; more pride.

It was her first little league game. Slow-pitch softball, and the coaches threw to the batters.

I was on the mound.

Jamie was your classic over-achiever, always seeming to put too much pressure on herself. Her white T-shirted uniform mirrored her hair.

I was remembering that first at bat…her intense concentration. And recalling how carefully I’d tried to aim the pitch to match the trajectory of her bat.

She hit a slow dribbler to the right side of the infield. Legging it out to first base was easy; no one bothered to field the ball.

A lifetime away from Hilltop’s diamond, she too had grown up. She too stood under the chupah moments from matrimony.

So one more to go! Seven days til the baby. Is that a lump festering in my throat? Stacy grown? Stacy?

For her first birthday Uncle Benny, Art and I drove out to Chardon and got her a dog, Rocky (of blessed memory). (Needed Arthur’s OK; even stopped at his clinic on the way home to wash it).

We had a travel cage for the sheltie, perhaps three feet by eighteen inches.  Stacy loved the dog and slept in the cage with it. How I wish she still fit.

But that was 26 years ago and we’re all older. And she, too, has grown up.

But that doesn’t mean she’s not our baby. And that doesn’t mean that exactly seven days from now I won’t be dabbing my eyes…and picturing a little girl that looks like Punky Brewster napping in a small cage with an even smaller dog.

Break  that glass!


  1. Stacy Bohrer says:

    I miss the wedding.

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