Hey All -
This weekend, I watched as my younger cousin, whom I've known since his infancy, married his college sweetheart. It was a swanky affair, to be sure. The ceremony was just right, the reception was fun, and it turns out that my wife knows the bandleader. Small world!
The only smudge on this beautiful picture was the presentation of young folk before the ceremony. It is often said in most houses of worship that the L-D above seeks to have the littlest children among us come nearer to Him. It's not clear how happy He'd be with these little ones running with abandon and without parental supervision throughout His sanctuary, especially close to lit candles with no assurance that they wouldn't tip over. I can assure you that if I had attempted such feats as a lad, the sensation of my father's thumb and forefinger tightly and forcefully grabbing me by the earlobe would have been an imminent and inevitable response.
These children, were in fact the flower girls and ring-bearers, and had important roles to fill. Still, so effervescent and boisterous was this gaggle of youth that their parents were moved from the front of the receiving line to the rear immediately prior to the bridal procession to provide some severely lacking attention. Once this change was made, the ceremony proceeded with no distractions or interruptions.
Friends and neighbors, you know I'm all about freedom, liberty, and expression. The thought of a young man going through life stifled and cuckolded is to me a fate worse than death. That being said, a young boy who has not yet learned that there is a time and place for all things is one who desperately needs the stifling. I will not say that children should not be at a wedding -- often times the bride has her reasons for including our youngest and sweetest to be present on her special day. However, if they are to be present, it calls for Mom/Dad/Uncle/Auntie/Grandma/Whomever to try to keep them somewhat contained. It is, after all, the bride's and groom's day, and not the children's -- they must be taught to graciously accept supporting roles during that performance - and accept them they must.
But I will not wallow in criticism and judgment -- that area is best left to those who've spent their entire lives looking down their noses in frustration and bewilderment. Rather, I will counterbalance the above-referenced smudge with the otherwise unadulterated remainder of the image. I myself was also part of this bridal procession -- in fact, I had the privilege of leaving the sanctuary immediately following the bride and groom, and then being the first to congratulate them on their completed nuptials. Then a chance to see my parents, who have remained gracious and generous to me as always, and my dawwwwwling Sista, the funniest person I've ever known. During the reception, I was confronted with one out of two dance songs that cause me to lose control even worse than the aforementioned youngsters -- "Bringin' Sexy/Back" was adapted by the band, causing me dance provocatively around my wife at our tabled in an effort to entice her onto the dance floor. After much coaxing, she was able to "go 'head be gone with it."
"Ummm, yeaaaaaah Dave. That's, um, good. But how about sticking to the point of your blog? We're trying to increase traffic here."
Right you are, friend. As I stated earlier, there is a time and place for all things. A young man must be unafraid to be himself, as set forth in the Four Pillars. However, it takes a small amount of time and grade on that young man's part before he can use them as his guideposts.
"I Exist" -- You already know this, little buddy. Nobody's tried to make you think otherwise yet. Thing is, this pillar is not a free pass to go everywhere and do everything in your young and tender state, unless you really want to give your parents a trip to the emergency room and/or a visit from a process server.
"I Matter" -- Of course you do, little man. That's why you need a little more guidance still. That's why Moms and Pops need to take you by the hand and explain when it's OK to be loud and when to be quiet.
"I Belong" -- The bride obviously agreed. Show us you belong by doing as us grownups do. Stand up straight and look handsome!
"I Deserve" -- In your case, little man, let's not just assume things. You deserve to be welcomed as another member of the wedding party. You don't deserve to be the star of the show, and you don't deserve all the attention so soon. Your time will come sooner than you think. But today, just be good and do what's right. Then you'll deserve praise and respect!
Then, once you grow up and become an adult, and figure out when to be calm and sober, and when to get down with your bad self, do your best at both!!!!
Oh by the way, the other song that makes me dance "like MC Hammer on crack," is "The Humpty Dance!"
Also by the way, Happy Birthday to my Sister!