Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A little over 23 years ago, my wife and I brought our daughter Nicole, a beautiful, happy, and energetic baby girl home. Since that blissful day, Niki has repeated the simple act of bringing things home, too. Cats, dogs, and people seemed to be the most common collections. For the most part, these were things that we expected and, if not welcomed, they were accepted as a part of life.

Last night she brought something home that was both welcomed and almost expected:

I say that it was almost expected only because her now official fiance and I had a short discussion a few days earlier. Al is an ASE Certified mechanic and works in the municipal garage of one of the many suburb communities outside of Columbus.

This past weekend, he and I were changing the alternator in my Civic, a difficult job for anyone with hands larger than peach pit. The job took a couple of hours and I got an insight into what this young man was about.

I already knew that Al was courteous and well mannered. But this weekend I realized he has a pretty good head on his shoulders and a fair amount of common sense, which is often not so common these days. He has dreams and goals and a plan and I think the determination to make them a reality. I found myself really liking him.

After completing the job and picking up his tools, Al paused and said he'd been meaning to talk to me about something. He then proceeded to ask permission to wed my daughter and I smiled and said, "That depends on how good a job you did on the alternator."

The details of our talk are something that will be left between just the two of us, but in the end, speaking very solemnly, I told him I would give my blessing to the union. Although I never showed the emotion I felt to Al, on the inside, my mind was screaming, "Yipeeeee!!!!!"

Now, having seen the evidence of his sincerity on Niki's hand, I started looking forward to the day when my home becomes my own again. My thoughts drifted towards ways to decorate her soon-to-be-empty bedroom and plotting methods to seize ownership of the space from my dear wife and... and... calculating the costs associated with a wedding. Reality check!

With the economy in the toilet, does it really make sense to spend a whole lot of money on a wedding? Probably not. I'd rather opt for a simple ceremony and a big party. But it's not my wedding or party.

So, prudence suggests that we forgo the California bike trip (Teresa wasn't all that excited about it anyway), and focus our efforts on an October wedding.

In the mean time, I think I'll submit my Fathers Day/birthday/Christmas wish list early: A 24 foot extension ladder, tall enough to reach Niki's bedroom window.

Or maybe something along these lines...

Ride Safe!


dave said...

Congratulations to all. It is pretty exciting watching as your children grow up and do all the things that you tried to prepare them for. Buying Al and Niki that Harley for an elopement might be cheaper than an actual wedding :):)

D. Brent Miller said...

Doug, this is great. Of course, I have several reactions:
1) You know Al can read, don't you?
2) That's a nice looking ring! Congratulations to the couple.
3) You'll do the right thing when it comes to the wedding ... you'll give your daughter away!
Lastly, 4) Empty nesting is FABULOUS!


Lance said...

Doug, this is great news - congratulations to the whole family!

Arizona Harley Dude said...

After having had two weddings in two years for my daughters, I will wish you luck and congratulations.

What a thrill it is to walk them down the isle and see the look in their eyes as they begin their new journey.

Doug C said...

Thank you one and all. It is kinda exciting, though I am at least a little cautious with my optimism for them considering the current outlook for the future in the USA.

Love is near sighted and has selective memory.

Dave - I'll crunch the numbers but something tells me he'll say "yes" and she'll say "no."

D.Brent - 1)yes, 2)yes, 3)yes, and 4)Yessssss! Actually, he's nicer than I could have hoped for.

Lance - Yep, great news.

AHD - Two in two years, wow! My wife's father walked 5 down the isle, never with a dry eye.

Baron's Life said...

Congrats man. This i good news and you, as a great father and huband deserve nothing but the best.
I'm sure it's all going to work out Great and they will present you with many Grand forget about the empty nest... The guy is an ASE certified Tech and therefore sure knows how to use the tools... That Extra room, put a crib in it for the grand children for they will soonn be blessing your and your wife' home.

Doug C said...

Baron - I gotta tell you, that the idea of grandkids had not even entered my mind until your mention. Of course the thing about grandbabies is they almost always go home!

Baron's Life said...

Well Doug,
I know you're too young for such concepts as becoming Grand-Parents...but hey man, it's gonna happen sooner or later...better sooner so you can once again enjoy changing diapers before you forget what they were.
Young kids around the house will re-invigurate you and the mrs... to no end.
My son and his wife who now live in Australia are also expecting a child for September... I can't wait to see what the monkey will look

irondad said...

You could certainly have done worse! Congratulations on the impending extended family. I talked Katie's father over a rear axle bearing on a Ford station wagon. We've been married 31 years so that's a good sign.

The empty nest thing is working out really well for us.

Best wishes for everyone involved.

Doug C said...

Dan - Thanks for the thoughts.