Some parental jobs are defined by gender. Moms are supposed to soothe the owies, do their hair, cook them dinner. Dads teach them to ride bikes, enforce curfew and give them that evil eye that let's them know they are in trouble. Mothers of the Bride get to wear tacky dresses and corsages, fret over meetings with florists and close a gazillion buttons while looking for the perfect dress. Fathers of the Bride get to grant permission to marry their daughter, walk them down the aisle and have a daddy daughter dance.
So what happens in our nontraditional family? Our family where Kyky gives me both Mother's Day and Father's Day gifts because I am both to her.
I taught her how to ride a bike and I enforced curfew. I never was able to give that evil look though. I always ended up giggling which became contagious and then we would forget what naughty deed started the entire hysteria. I also bandaged the scrapes, fixed her hair and made sure she was fed.
I can guarantee I'm not going to wear a tacky dress. Let's not forget the dream of the MOB being a MILF. My dress will be sexy, well, appropriately sexy. I can't be embarrassing. It won't be red. I've already had meetings that make me fret over this entire event and I am dreading the task of finding the perfect dress all the while looking forward to doing up the gazillion buttons.
But what about that granting permission? The walk down the aisle? The daddy daughter dance?
That's where her sperm donor was supposed to come in. But Spermy has just recently made an appearance in her life. He hasn't yet earned the rights to these traditions has he?
I made it through the first task when Stretch came over that night to ask me to marry my daughter. Once I got over the initial embarrassment of what I had done to him just days before I bucked up and took on the role of the fatherly figure. I thought about what my dad had said to my brother-in-law when he came with the same question. I got as serious as I could. Asked about their future plans, talked about the importance of finishing school and not rushing into things. I think I did OK. We had a good talk and he had a plan and good answers to all my questions. I felt successful. I went to bed thinking I couldn't believe I just had that conversation! It wasn't supposed to be my job but in our little family, all the jobs are mine.
Would Spermy have been tougher on Stretch the Suitor? Asked tougher more pertinent questions? I don't think so. He didn't get to grant permission. He didn't get to answer the all important question in his daughter's life. I did and I was proud to be breaking the gender barrier.
The aisle -- I'm not walking her down it. I think that would look stupid. Some traditions need to be kept. A bride needs to be on the arm of a man. A man that loves her and has watched her grow into a woman. Not on the arm of a mom. Two dresses, two up dos, too many flowers are not a good thing. Plus is kind of lesi. It isn't the right picture. The picture is supposed to be a beautiful white dress accompanied by a dashing black tuxedo. Maybe she'll walk down alone. After all she does like to think she is independent. That seems lonely. Do you really want to make the longest and most watched walk of your life all by yourself? All eyes on just you. No one to steady your nervous steps towards the altar and your future husband? No one there to push you forward, to cue you to take Stretch's hand? The last option is to find that special man. She says Spermy hasn't earned the right to lend his elbow and give her away. Gpa is her other choice. He would be proud and the GOB (grandma of the bride, divorced from the Gpa) would be so envious. That might make the decision for Kyky right there. She loves to piss off the GOB. I know this is a tough decision for her. Ky doesn't want to offend anyone. If Spermy hadn't entered her life I think she would have already asked Gpa. A way to repay him for all the tractor rides, mac n' cheese, pool parties and trips to the dump. For her love of the Red Sox, corn and her natural ease at finding klutzy accidents! But then I think there is that part of her that wants her "dad" to walk her down the aisle. I don't think she is worried about offending Gpa or Spermy, but me. Would I be hurt if Spermy were to walk her down the aisle? I think if the wedding were soon, my answer is yes. But I have a year to get used to the idea. I don't know that he has earned the right yet, but he has time to redeem himself, to earn the right. Plus I keep reminding myself that I truly loved him and because of that love I have Ky. Maybe it is me that owes that walk to him. He gave me a great give with that sperm donation twenty years ago. Maybe this is my gift to him . . . letting him revel in the pride and love that that donation created. Obviously I'm going to have to start thinking of him as more than sperm.com. Mama will be going to the bar to get used to having him around again! Don't think he gets to answer the question of "who gives this woman in marriage?" I am answering that! Whoever the hell walks her down the damned aisle!
Now for the dance. What is a wedding with dancing and no daddy daughter dance? Spermy has earned that by finally contacting Kyky. Not to mention with the cash that he is giving for this bash! Or maybe it should just be a montage of the men I have involved in her life. My dad, who helped me raise her. My first real boyfriend after Spermy, T, who helped drive carpool to Challenger School, introduced her to her love of country music, and loved her as his own. Or maybe Otis, my best friends x-husband and my x-boyfriend who has known Ky since she was one. He has been there through everything until this last chapter. Breaking up with someone can do that. He isn't aware that Spermy is back in the picture and he isn't in the loop of the wedding. But he has seen her grow into a woman and he has loved her as his "oldest" kid for a long time. We'll leave out the losers that we all want to forget!
When it comes down to it . . . the decisions are Ky's. Walk with who you want to. Steady yourself and proudly take that step towards Stretch all on your own. Or have the arm of Gpa or Spermy to guide you into your future. It is your choice. Dance with everyone who has loved you as a daughter and enjoy every beat. The night is yours and your decisions will be right.