I thought about the changes in the last few years. I watched as one of my sons officially began his family. It was a time for reunions, a time for reflections and a time for wondering. The reunion of family. The reflection of what has gone forth, and wondering about the future.
As I looked into his eyes from the parent’s row, I noticed how much he had changed since the days when I actually had to “change” him. I suddenly remembered that calendar he made in elementary school with his picture at the top of “July” and a tear came to my eyes as I remembered cheering for him at his basketball games.
But this was not a basketball game, although I was a spectator with a chosen seat. In my heart I was cheering him on as he stood watching his groomsmen come to his side and come to his aid. It reminded me of the times he used to need me. When a band-aid was called for to his skinned knee or a pizza was in order after a brutal high school practice.
And there in that moment in time, he had to stand alone and wait. Wait for the love of his life. Wait for his future. Wait for his passion. And as a dad, I wondered if I had taught him to wait with joy. To wait with patience. To wait with perseverance.
And then the music began to play a new melody and we all realized that my son’s life was about to change in just moments. The ring bearer came down the isle with the rings, but his bride was coming down an isle with his heart.
I watched the tears in his eyes as she approached and I knew. The most important thing was not his waiting with joy or his waiting with patience or his waiting with persistence… but that he truly learned how to wait upon his bride with love.
Ten years ago he came to me and asked, “Dad, what do you think about this girl?” And as she took his hands and promised to love him with all of her heart, I felt a peace inside, knowing that a dad who finds a woman for his son that, above all will love him unconditionally is the confirmation of true happiness.
And as they were “pronounced” and walked away down that path I realized that I watched my son come to that altar as a little boy, but witnessed him walk away from it, very much a man.
As they disappeared into that wooded setting, far from the eyes of the spectators, I felt the reunion of family as we cried and laughed and embraced and cheered the addition of another DeLap. I reflected on how this all happened in a decade. And I wondered no more if I had taught my son all he needed to know before that day.