When my friends of, already, several years' standing had their first child, I was delighted. I played with the baby: blonde, like her mother, bright-eyed and responsive from the start. Clearly a child of promise, which eventually was fulfilled. Little was I thinking at that early point that, mumbledy-mumble years later, I would be attending her wedding.
But 'twas so. A fine and dignified service in the family's church, with some cogent words on wedlock from the pastor, and recorded music by Mark O'Connor, Vaughan Williams, and Bach. Then on to the reception. The dinner was excellent; some of the best-prepared food I've ever had. After the usual speeches designed to embarrass the groom, it mutated into the usual DJ-run technopop overload. I usually have to duck out of these for a while to decompress; this time I huddled up in a back corner with a full introvert shutdown, a state with some resemblance to catatonia. I hadn't realized I could do that. I came out of it enough to give goodbye wishes to the bride and groom when we left, but I'm still a bit shaken. If you don't see me much for a bit, that's part of the reason.
But this should be about her. I've watched her mature, and I've been waiting for this stage. I don't look at her and think, "Why is this baby getting married?" Instead, I see a grown woman well-equipped for the great adventure on which she's embarking.