A Few Good Men

I once read a quote that said something like, “be the kind of man you would want your daughter to date.”  It’s pretty powerful isn’t it?  For some men, the way they have treated their girlfriends or their wives, well, they would never want that for their daughters, would they?  It’s a good guide, for keeping one’s behavior in check, if you would not want a man to do this to your daughter, then don’t do it to your partner…that thing called karma, that’s real.  I have a new son-in-law, since about 4 o’clock last Sunday, and while he does not have a daughter, he has shown me, time and time again, that he is the kind of man he would want his daughter to date if he had one.   He does however have two sons, and by the way he treats my daughter, now his wife, he is showing these growing boys how a good woman should be treated, and how to become the kind of man anyone could wish for their daughter, all I could have ever dreamed for mine…

It’s not just the ten days at The Four Seasons in Maui seven months after their first blind date, a brilliant matching set up by my sister and brother-in-law I might add, nor is it the enormous addition he built on their home, practically as big as my whole house I might add, of a master bedroom and spa like bath-suite and family room, and it’s not that he took them to Disney World last year, and it’s not just the stunningly shiny and perfectly flawless diamond he surprised her with in front of the  fountain at the Bellagio in Las Vegas last October, surprised all of us I might add, as he’d only told his sons that he was going to propose, and it’s not the new Yukon he bought them to have a “family” vehicle that all six of them could comfortably ride in, it’s not the giant pool and park like setting he created in their backyard, and it’s not the dream wedding they just created together, and it’s not the two weeks in Bora Bora that they will start enjoying as their honeymoon begins next week…no, it’s not one of these things, nor any of these things I might add, that have “value” or cost money, in fact, it’s none of the above…   No, it’s the way he looked at her, that moment he first saw her last Sunday afternoon…my lovely daughter in her exquisite ivory lace wedding gown, with her veil shimmering in the afternoon sun, and the light breeze gently swaying it across her bare shoulders…he looked at her in a way that any parent would want for their daughter…and it melted me.  It made me feel like the luckiest woman on this earth, to know, to feel it in my bones, that this man loves my daughter this way…It made me love him very much more than I already did, and not for any of the things he has bought her, or for how much better, easier, and more fun her life has grown since he’s been part of it…all of that makes her life good; I loved him more for the way he looked at her, with a fondness that perhaps can’t be defined, and an appreciation, an honor even, to share his life with her…all of that which makes her life even more beautiful than it already was…

I am the daughter of a great man, and I am the daughter of a great romance.  My father still looks at my mother like he thinks he’s the luckiest man in the world.  That my daughter now has a man in her life like this, so much like my father in a number of ways, fills my heart to overflowing.  When I was a little girl I often looked upon my parents in such awe and wonder…I would see the way my father looked at my mother, or laugh when he said, as he still does, “she’s the best wife I ever had” and I would think, “that’s the relationship to wish for.”   To wish for a partner that good & deeply loving, to be on your side in life and love, in work and home, is a big wish…and now to think that my granddaughters will have those feelings too, as they continue to evolve and grow, and watch their mother in this new role as new wife, well it makes me cry the happiest of tears…

Sure, there will be some evenings that my son-in-law will wish that my daughter was cooking their dinner instead of organizing her shoe closet or grading papers, or some afternoons that my daughter would rather him be home vacuuming with her than out racing his dirt bike with his friends, and certainly sometime one or the other of them will be annoyed that the other did not go food shopping…real, real, life happens…I’m not so naive to think they will be so fond of each other all the time, for all of their days.  Surely that expression “well, the honeymoon is over” must have come from somebody who became unexpectedly well aware that the wedding ‘high’ eventually ends, and real, real, life restarts …that my granddaughters will watch him some night, at the dinner table perhaps, looking at their mother the way my father looks still at my mother…and maybe he’ll tease her, or joke around and laugh with her, or poke her in the ribs or kiss her on the forehead and they’ll laugh together with some private grin, and those little girls will see that they can want this for themselves someday…real love based in friendship, filled with respect and admiration and appreciation…this man, this new son-in-law of mine, has brought into my life two boys and a big boy dog, but more than anything, he has brought into my life something I only dreamed of for my daughter and her daughters, and my thanks and my gratitude to him, for that,  is too big for words…



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