the bride and groom and friend, jack.
my step-son is getting married today.
most days with this event penciled on the calender summons parties and gifts, generous offerings of congratulations and hopeful promises for a long and healthy future together. a day which lies at the end of a multitude of months full of incessant planning and soul-searching for the perfect dress, the perfect flower, the perfect location - all of which those of us who are married knows does not exist anywhere except in the bride's mind. and that's okay, too, for everyone deserves that unicorn-fairy-tale-love-so-much-it-hurts moment.
from what we've been told, it hasn't been months in the making, but a few weeks, but nevertheless, an adventure that is all-consuming. there's not much i know of the bride, only her name and her profession. not sure how long she has known the boy, but it's never long enough. although by sheer convention, i should know much more about the groom, but i do not. and that is why this day starts with queries rather than stretches of exaltation.
when you have children, you never expect to the be on the sidelines, looking on as other characters engage in the moment at hand. you expect to be in the heat of it all, raising glasses, offering hugs . . . receiving hugs. all those milestones that your parents experienced with you - first dates, graduation, first car, first job, marriage, birth of children - they told you they couldn't wait for you to experience the same. you agreed as if this romantic succession of episodes would be your fate as well. consequently, these illusions were made even more remote by mistakes, free-will and just damn stubbornness and human nature.
do we continue to stand on the sidelines? sometimes, you have to, but that doesn't decrease the amount of love or pride or hopefulness that all parents have for their children on special days like today. no matter if time or distance has been the winner, you never turn loose of the quest to be a part of their lives. they have no clue that every single day that we breathe, they are part of our lives.
we wish joy and prosperity, and all those things you hear as glasses are clinked at receptions around the globe. although we won't get the opportunity to declare our dreams for you, we share them here. know that as each day passes, we'll be praying that your fairy-tale includes white horses and castles. as it should be.
and our hope lives on that, somewhere in the world - in texas, in australia, in jersey, and even upstairs - that they will grasp the importance of including us in celebrations that are, in reality, all about them. it's a joy - and regrettably, a sorrow - that they really won't grasp until they have their own little ones - who poop, laugh, run, jump, scoff, fight and leave.
michael hastings, the rolling stone writer that blew open general stanley mcchrystal's lack of guidance during his tenure in afghanistan, died this morning at the age of 33. although most will remember him as the journalist who brought down the four-star general, he is remembered this morning in reporting circles as one who dug for the truth and lived to write about it. his pursuits kept his readers informed, thus doing his job with every tap of the key.
last year, he gave ten tips to reddit for aspiring journalists. here they are. i think there are a few calling for my attention, too.
Okay, here’s my advice to you (and young journalists in general):
1.) You basically have to be willing to devote your life to journalism if you want to break in. Treat it like it’s medical school or law school.
2.) When interviewing for a job, tell the editor how you love to report. How your passion is gathering information. Do not mention how you want to be a writer, use the word “prose,” or that deep down you have a sinking suspicion you are the next Norman Mailer.
3.) Be prepared to do a lot of things for free. This sucks, and it’s unfair, and it gives rich kids an edge. But it’s also the reality.
4.) When writing for a mass audience, put a fact in every sentence.
5.) Also, keep the stories simple and to the point, at least at first.
6.) You should have a blog and be following journalists you like on Twitter.
7.) If there’s a publication you want to work for or write for, cold call the editors and/or email them. This can work.
8) By the second sentence of a pitch, the entirety of the story should be explained. (In other words, if you can’t come up with a rough headline for your story idea, it’s going to be a challenge to get it published.)
9) Mainly you really have to love writing and reporting. Like it’s more important to you than anything else in your life–family, friends, social life, whatever.
10) Learn to embrace rejection as part of the gig. Keep writing/pitching/reading.
i love being a mom. i love being a mom especially when i see my children exhibit manners, try new adventures, comfort a friend, say 'thank you' and 'you're welcome'. i'm not one of those southern moms who require their child to say 'm'am' for i just don't think it's a necessary requirement of etiquette. plus, it makes me feel very old. so, that is not a word i push, but i do push being respectful and being polite. i don't have time for the 'you should know i appreciate you' or 'i shouldn't have to say it' - well, of course you have to speak up. there's no agenda. no hoops. just plain ole' manners. there's no substitute - or excuse - for that.
my son has been watching my husband and i fall head over heels in love with photography. he's seen the amazing photographs we've produced. trust me, they've been a long time coming - and we have miles to go - but my son is impressed. "mom, give me pointers," he said this weekend. "let's go riding and you show me how."
nothing inspires me more, nothing makes me do the 'yippee' dance like my son liking what i do and wanting to do it as well. and i'm sure he doesn't understand how proud that makes me. and he won't until the day his son or daughter says that to him. he'll remember when he staggered with his mom through the waist-high grass to get a shot of an iron horse, and he got one good one from about three dozen clicks. that was a good day. it was a great beginning.
so, yes, children, there are words you have to say. words we as parents want to hear simply because they are the favorable fit at the precise moment. thank you for wanting to do what i do. thank you for reminding me even though you hated to be corrected when you didn't acknowledge a good deed, you learned what you should do.
thank you - for your deeds and your words.
Whether it is exploring this amazing world or being content on my own piece of real estate near Athens, Georgia, I'm spinning stories and fashioning tales from a Southern perspective. As an editor and writer, I get to meet incredible people and share their stories. As a photographer, I get to cement these moments in time. As a wife and mother, I'm always excited to see what's around the next corner, For it's anything but ordinary.