Monday, March 31, 2014

Asking for the Parents' Blessing

Our apologies! We've been wedding planning. Actually, we've been our daughters' Admins. and THEY've been wedding planning! It's been busy! But, we're back.
Let's start pre-engagement:  Both of our daughters' fiances are traditional guys. Some would say well brought up guys! Both of them came to ask for our blessings! Really!
I'll share our story. I got a g-chat message asking if we'd be home over the weekend. This was back in the beginning of December. The moment that question came in "I knew." "We can be," I wrote. "May I come by and see you and Bob around 4:00 on Saturday?" "Sure."
Instantly I called Bob.
So the question was, how long was he going to stay? Do I make dinner? But it's only 4. How do I make him feel more comfortable? Afterall, this was the first time it was just the three of us. Will he just ask and then bolt? How was this going to go? I'd think about it, smile, think about the fact that he was coming up from the city and every time I spoke to our daughter "I'd know" but she had NO idea.
Bob on the other hand, got out his yellow pad and started jotting down thoughts, questions, discussion topics. Ruminating...
Poor guy. This was going to be quite a visit.
Well, he came over at 4pm sharp (he's incredibly punctual) and we had 'small talk' for a bit. I was making Margaritas (I figured I had to do something to take the edge off). I had dinner fixings ready in the wings, just in case he wanted to stay...Well, he got right to the point, "I've been in love with your daughter since the eighth grade (yes, they were high school sweethearts, broke up during college, spread their wings for awhile and a few years after college, reconnected) and I want to spend the rest of my life with her. I'd like your blessing." This was said with such confidence and self assuredness that I was madly grabbing for the tissues. Bob stood up, instantly our soon to be son inlaw stood up, they shook hands and Bob said, "this is great news, but excuse me for a minute, I've got some things I'd like to discuss with you." And he disappeared into the study, grabbed the yellow pad and for the next hour, hour and a half, there were questions, such as: "what are your goals and aspirations?" "Tell us about your job and your goals in the workplace?" "Family is incredibly important to our daughter, she drops most everything for her brothers, how do you feel about that?" (This answer I remember exactly,) "I wouldn't have it any other way." They discussed values.  Family. Should they have children what are his expectations about our daughter working full time, part time or staying at home. Bob shared several personal stories of his own, there was laughter, serious discussion, tears (sorry, I'm a total sap). The two of them did most of the talking. For those of you that know me, shocking I know, but true. Here's why: by the end of the discussion they both were standing, a handshake turned into a hug, a big "welcome to the family" and Bob told him that the reason for the "yellow pad" was because this was a discussion that my father had had with him 30 years ago and this was a discussion that his father in law had had with him and should they have a daughter someday perhaps he will have a similar discussion with her intended.
You see, I grew up hearing this story from my Dad and he always said that he felt it broke the ice and built a relationship of trust. I knew that when the right guy came along, the yellow pad was going to come out and....it did. Well, Bob has said for years that he was going to do the same thing because he too felt it achieved exactly what had been intended, a feeling of love and being a part of a family, but more importantly, being able to pick up the phone and discuss anything, regardless of the significance/severity with his father in law. He wants the same with our soon to be son in law.
The true test, I overheard our soon to be SIL say to his good buddy when asked, "Did you ask Bob for his permission?""What did he say to you? What did you talk about" "Whoa!" Our soon to be SIL said "I sure did and I highly recommend it!"
Love that!
btw, he stayed for dinner...he stayed until 11:00. It was a good evening. Actually, it was wonderful!
~Beppie

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