I can't help feeling a little sentimental today because one year ago, Lauren and Robert got married.
July 22, 2006 was a whirlwind of nerves and excitement. Everyone looked beautiful and Lauren was stunning. We kept pinching ourselves. Can this really be happening? Oh, we had our snags: the gorgeous floral arrangement that created a canopy over the bride and groom came crashing down during pre-ceremony pictures, dumping green floral foam all over Lauren's dress and the carpet. Flowers were everywhere, and it took almost an hour to clean it and Lauren's dress up....meanwhile the clock was ticking toward 7:00.
And Lauren had a last-second attack of nervousness before walking down the aisle. When the doors finally opened and Lauren and her Dad rounded the corner, I could see him whispering in her ear, "Look at you! You're doing it! You're doing it, honey."
I'll never forget it.
Something about those words turn me into a time traveller, revisiting all the milestones in which I've heard them spoken. The first steps, the first words, the first bike ride without training wheels. I vividly remember Tom letting go of the seat and calling after Lauren, "Look at you! You're doing it!" as she pedalled away. Then there was the moment in which a puff of wind carried a kite into the air while she ran on 6-year-old legs, holding the string. "You're doing it, Lauren! Just look at you go!" his voice rang out. The first day of school, the first piano recital, the first time behind the wheel of a car. I can still hear it.
"Look at you!" They are the words that mean all the times you ever dreamed of accomplishing or experiencing that certain thing, and it's finally happening for you. You are there. They are the words that make you step back and see your own self, living and breathing and moving and taking it all in. They make you want to capture the moment, so you can pull it out of your memory and savor it any time you wish.
I see Lauren now, all grown up and starting her own life with Robert. They've had a busy first year of marriage, going to school and working and learning to live as a couple. I love seeing them together. They are best friends who fell in love, and that's how it should be. Robert has become such a special part of our family, we couldn't imagine life without him.
Somewhere in Moscow today, Lauren and Robert are celebrating their anniversary. It may not be the most romantic of anniversaries, but it will be a day in which they can look at each other and say "Look at us! We're doing it! We're married, and we're living and loving and experiencing everything we dreamed of." They will remember their own firsts, just like I remember ours: captured in time and all golden around the edges. The imperfections won't really matter as much as the sweetness of knowing that this is THEIR story, THEIR treasure-trove of experiences that they will pull out and savor, any time they wish.
There is a cake-top in my freezer, just waiting for them to return home and cut into it. Hopefully, it won't taste too bad after a year sitting next to frozen vegetables and casseroles. But even if it does, it will still be a reminder of last year's wedding day and all the love that went into it.
And even though they are far away today, I hope they can hear us say, "Hooray! You're doing it! Just look at you two go!"