“Dad,” my son said warmly, “No one enjoys life cycle events more than you.” I smiled as Michael continued. “I mean it,’ he chuckled, “It doesn’t matter if it’s a birth, a bar mitzvah, a wedding, or for sure a funeral.”

I didn’t disagree. I wondered, though, did he realize what a compliment he’d given me? Was he not proclaiming that his Old Man valued, APPRECIATED life?

Truth be known, I like weddings most. I love everything about them: the rehearsal dinner, the ceremony—even the morning/after’s brunch. Stuart Miller, this weekend, called me “a good people watcher.” He has NO idea. Not only do I revel observing families swarm hotel lobbies, but I joy even more just listening as clans fill in details of Facebook headlines. Wrap the package in three days of The Prince, and my friends, I’ve got the world by the you-know-what!

The recent Roth/Klein affair was a perfect example. Touching down Thursday evening I sensed the night’s Max time was limited. By the time we’d picked up the tuck and hit Great Neck, the lad was sound asleep. “Can I take a peek?” I asked Michael while parking the car. Moments later, entering Chez Bogart, I felt a gentle tap on my shoulder. Turning back toward my son I saw the protective father direct our traffic pattern 180 degrees from the baby’s crib. “He’s sleeping, Dad”, he whispered. “You can watch the monitor.”

So I did.

Friday was a new day. Booked to a hotel not far from the wedding, my room stared across the hall to the kids. It would be, therefore, max time with Max …and of course, a beautiful wedding.

“What was YOUR favorite part of the weekend?” I was asked Sunday night. The answer, (reminiscent of my brother’s forty-five minute analysis of coffee options for his mother’s 2007 birthday party) was layered.

“If you’re talking about the wedding itself, the setting was majestic,” I noted. Indeed, the minyan following me on Twitter was advised of such a day earlier. The weather’d held up—Long Island Sound was the backdrop—we walked in to Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto Number 3….

“And I liked the rabbi….and the ceremony. It choked me up. Especially his story about what makes a good wedding.”

Meredith’s comment about the bride dancing with her mother had my mind drifting. Recalling the video of Michael’s wedding, (just recently viewed), I pictured the warmth on MY mother’s face… shining up from her wheel chair that October night.

“And I loved the Italian ice for dessert…especially the vanilla chip…” Michael, of course, sounding the allegiance of a life-long New Yorker, advised I never really had Italian ice back in Cleveland. (Had he not heard of Lawson’s)?

“What, though, was your ONE FAVORITE part?” (I was glad they asked again,—quite poised to respond)!

“It was my forty-five minutes alone with Max!” I exclaimed. Regaling then how I’d followed him around that one square hotel room, placing suitcases in front of electrical outlets, hiding cords, and playing with him in the mirrors, I glowed. We’d sung the Max Parker Bogart song (to the tune of “Old Time Religion”), we’d rolled on the bed, and we’d watched Disney, all the while building a foundation to let him better know his out/town grandfather. It was, this one-on-one set, this quality time, the wedding of grandfather and grandson.

And so the weekend, set across the canvas of family nuptials, drew to a close. Heading to LaGuardia Monday, I could attest clearly that Jillian was a beautiful bride. I could confirm flatly that Matt Klein was her perfect fit. But I knew, definitely, that once again that little bundle of joy…the one with the Yankee Blue eyes, had stolen my heart.

One Response to “NEW YORK STATE OF MIND”

  1. m says:

    Sweet post, Bruce. I’m wondering why you would go to Lawsons’ for Italian ice when you could just roll down Mayfield and take your pick of establishments for the treat. Are the Lawsons Italian?

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