Sunday, August 5, 2007
The Choices We Make
I was going to write something this week about judo, organizations and the impossibility of satisfying all the people all of the time. However, Maria, my oldest daughter, decided to get married this week, so that took precedence.
Let me clarify. She did not just this week decide to get married. Maria is so organized and bossy that I am certain she missed her calling in life and should have been a nun, but it is definitely too late now. As can be seen through photographic evidence in the background of this picture, she was married and hereby loses any credible claim to celibacy. Oh well.
Maria decided months ago that she was going to get married on August 3rd, so there was nothing to be done but go through with it. There was a brief moment when, after reading the Gospel, her sister, Ronda, the blonde one in this picture who had just won the Panamerican Games gold medal in judo, was waved over frantically by the maid of honor. At this point, Jennifer (the not blonde one) and I were speculating that Maria had developed last-minute second thoughts and was telling Ronda to block for her because she was going to make a run for it. Ronda is a pretty awesome athlete, and Maria herself ran track at NYU for four years, so I could just see them going down the aisle with one of them tossing people to the right and left like a very fashionably-dressed linebacker while the other sprinted behind like a Vera Wang quarterback.
Fortunately, it simply turned out that the maid of honor had lost the ring for Eric (soon to be husband) which was shortly found (the ring, not the husband, he is quite tall and was never actually missing) and the wedding completed.
Having married off my first child, this seemed like as good a time as any to reminisce. I have been accused of taking this to a fault. When my husband met my best friend of the past 34 years, Laura asked him,
"So, does she still re-evaluate her life EVERY DAMN DAY?"
Dennis nodded and said, "Yes, pretty much."
I am not much of a poetry fan. In fact, other than everything ever written by Ogden Nash, about the only poem I like is the one by Robert Frost that begins:
A path forked in the woods and I,
Took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
I am not sure if it is the one less traveled by, but I know that for me personally, the choice to have children has made all of the difference in my life. It wasn't simply giving birth (although that is anything but simple!)
Throughout my life, my children have been my first priority, even if they did not always feel that way. When I remarried after my husband died, it had to be someone who could accept that my daughters were going to get a good education and whatever support we could give them to pursue their talents. If that meant we didn't have the newest car or could not buy a yacht, oh well.
Life is full of choices and at every fork in the road, I picked the one that meant the best for my children, even if it was not always the first choice for me personally. I gave up some great career opportunities and some other very tempting choices as well.
When I look at them now, all of them, I am sure those were the right choices. They have all grown to be people who make me proud. I am convinced still that children are one of the few things in life of which it can be definitely said that they are more worth than they are trouble.
Congratulations to Maria and Eric and best wishes for their future children.