In an earlier post (Engagement Day) I shared a slice of the story of the day I proposed to my wife. That evening we drove around town breaking the news to family and friends. Her parents were first to know, mine were next. We drove the eight miles out of town to their home and went inside.
The house was filled with people playing live music. I can’t name the instruments now just like I couldn’t back then. Some looked homemade. Others were unusual shapes. They were playing something like mountain music and having a good time. That kind of activity was not the norm when I had lived at home. I’d been in the US Navy for three years at this point and things at home had changed.
We pulled my mother off to the side and showed her my future bride’s ring. Mom glanced at it, said “That’s nice.” and turned back to the music. We were a bit disappointed at the reaction but absorbed the conflicting social activity in stride. We quickly left to share the news with friends. I would be back for the night anyway.
It was past midnight when I quietly entered the kitchen. My mother was sitting on a bench waiting for me. The rest of the house was dark and quiet except for the sound of the washing machine at the far end of the house. I was a bit surprised to see my mother awake at this hour. She normally went to bed by 10 pm.
“Mom, are you okay? Why are you still up?” I asked.
“I was doing laundry while waiting for you.” she replied. “I wanted to talk to you tonight.”
“It’s fine, mom. It could have waited until the morning.” I answered.
“No. You need to hear what I have to say.” she stated firmly.
I sat down and she proceeded to tell me the story of her own brief romance, engagement, and eloping to get married. The timing of my parent’s rapid courtship paralleled my own and I realized I had never heard the full story before now. We knew our parents had run off to get married, but I didn’t know the timescale leading up to that event.
We talked for almost two hours that night. Somewhere late in the conversation my mother stopped me cold with a question, “When did you grow up? I missed it. It seems like yesterday you were learning to ride a bike. Now, here you are about to get married.”
“No rush, Mom. We’re going to have a church wedding. Probably some time next year. Plenty of time to prepare yourself.” I soothed.
When was the first time you really felt like a grown up (if ever)?