Saturday, December 31, 2016

Autism Answer: Walking Down The Aisle Into The New Year

Jory and Sabrina

"Is it okay, Sabrina? You don't mind? I don't want you to feel like we're taking over your wedding day." 

"It's fine, don't worry," she promised me from her spot on the bed, snuggled in with my son. "We just want to be married. That's what we care about." 

My son kissed her on the forehead and smiled his agreement.

My oldest son got married on Dec. 27, 2016!

He and Sabrina have been together for less than a year, they are going to be parents, they got engaged a month ago, and now they are married. 

It's a gorgeous timely story! Ending the year with a new beginning.

For many reasons I am confident this marriage will be wonderful. 

Largely because my son is so himself when he's with his new wife. I've watched him grow and explore pieces of who he is and who he wants to be in other relationships, and I've enjoyed that. But with Sabrina he seems so comfortable with who he is while also getting excited about their future.  

"I'll accept the manager job but if it doesn't work out for us, I'll demote myself. Go back to this job that I already know I love," he explained to me a few days earlier. He's always put doing what he loves first and career advancement second. But a little later on I heard him chatting with Sabrina about their evening shift at the cinema where they both work. He was offering to switch roles with her, knowing she prefers working concession and she dislikes ushering. He's putting what he loves first again, and it's her.

It is an ending for me. He is not my man anymore, he's our man (until I let go enough to let him be her man. tee hee!). 

Of course, we are all aware that actually, he is his man. 

Another reason I am confident this marriage will be wonderful; we are all aware of this. Of how we are our own selves, and how our relationships serve us by giving us the freedom to explore that. She is herself. He is himself. They are themselves, together. 

"What time is the wedding?" I asked for the fifth time on the morning of the wedding. Knowing I could be getting my fifth different answer.

"My cousin is going to try to be here by one," Sabrina answered. Her cousin is the person who is going to marry them, and this new time is a good one. 
"Awesome! My niece will probably be able to make it for the wedding if it's at one." I was happy about this. I had been perfectly comfortable with a wedding that shifts and shimmies, dancing to the tune of work schedules. But I also hoped all of my nieces and sons could be there. With this new time, they could be! I was hoping it would stick.  

Mostly I am confident that this marriage will be wonderful because they are clear about what they want. There is no ambiguity, no uncertainty, and no posturing for others. There is only: "We want to be married." 

So, with everyone around them wanting to be there, they allowed us but didn't pressure us. The one thing that mattered most to them was: They wanted to be married. 

And at one o'clock, surrounded by most of our family, they were!  

My son and his wife are stepping into the new year together and are allowing us to join them, although we aren't mandatory to their happiness. (But, man, he's still mandatory to mine! I gotta work on that! ;D )

Moments before the ceremony my son chatted on the phone with my husband, who couldn't be there. "I figured I'd do what you did, dad," my son said. "Getting married. It looks like a good deal." I was beaming. I was amazed. I was momentarily lost in the insight and truth of this statement.

My husband and I have been married for sixteen years and though our marriage has been anything but traditional, it has been wonderful. I remember what my hubby said to me when I told him we couldn't get married, that it could never work because he would never leave our town and I wouldn't stay, he said, "We'll cross that bridge when we get to it." 

I shook my head at his naivete. How could it be that simple? 

And yet, it has been. And that difficult, too. We've had to build bridges with unusual scraps and tools. Yet every time, we've done it. And it's been a good deal. 

So I'm amazed and impressed and grateful to watch my son and his new bride do the same. Build a life that matches who they want to be and how they want to live. Personalized and not traditional. But wonderful!  
They are living life in their way and for themselves.

In this coming year I hope we all remember to do the same. To choose our own goals. To take action. To be clear. To raise the bar. To do so with the world in mind but ourselves at heart. 

"I had a dream that your nieces were my flower girls," Sabrina told me in her barely awake voice from the coziness of her early morning bed. "They can walk me down the aisle, since I don't have anyone to do it, dropping flower petals on the floor leading to the living room." 

Stepping into this new year let's all be willing to see our missing pieces as open opportunities. Let's be open to creating a wedding of our own dreams, not someone else's. Let's walk down the aisle strong in the knowledge that we are marrying the life we choose; not one that is chosen for us. 

May we all remember to do what my son and his wife have done.

Happy New Year my wonderful friends!
I can't wait to build more life with you in the coming year!
Hugs, smiles, and love!!
Congratulations Jory and Sabrina!!
You have given me more than I could ever hope to give back. Luckily I know that soon you will be getting the same from your own little peanut!!! xoxo
Jory and Sabrina - Bride and Groom!

Flower Girls

Living room wedding family photo