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It will happen to you


The day has finally arrived. My baby Lauren is getting married, and I am walking her down the aisle from childhood to womanhood.

Twenty-six years ago, just after Lauren was born, I took my other two daughters to a movie — Father of the Bride, with Steve Martin.

When the lights came up and we left the theater I was still crying. My shirt was stuck to my chest. My little girls were laughing at me. But I was weeping with joy and trepidation for the future they could not yet imagine.

Now it is the future. I am the father of the bride.

I hear the voice of George Banks, aka Steve Martin:

You fathers will understand. You have a little girl. An adorable little girl who looks up to you and adores you in a way you could never have imagined. I remember how her little hand used to fit inside mine. Then comes the day when she wants to get her ears pierced and wants you to drop her off a block before the movie theater.

From that moment on you’re in a constant panic. You worry about her meeting the wrong kind of guy, the kind of guy who only wants one thing, and you know exactly what that one thing is because it’s the same thing you wanted when you were their age.

Then you stop worrying about her meeting the wrong guy, and you worry about her meeting the right guy.

As we approach the chuppah, I glance over to the bride at my arm, expecting to see my little girl playing dress up. I remember how her hands used to fit in mine as I spun her like a helicopter over endlessly green summer lawns.

I am stunned. She is a young woman whom I barely recognize. She is radiant. She is glowing. She is full of love. And she is not looking at me.

She is looking at him, at the right guy, who is looking back at her with the same adoring joy. I am leading her across the threshold to her new life. I turn and kiss her on the cheek — kiss her childhood goodbye. She does not hesitate as I let her go. She is flying on her own. Into his arms.

It will happen.

It will happen to you.

So hold her tight.

Spin her while you can.

Spin her until you fly.

And enjoy every precious moment of the flight.

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