I just heard the news that my daughter's boyfriend, Peter (or 'Pierre' as we refer to him) asked Emily to do the honour of becoming his wife. This wasn't a surprise to us, as he had done the “right thing” and discussed the proposal with Lucy and I a month ago.
To Peter's credit, he orchestrated a beautifully romantic proposal, with a Hot Air Balloon and Champagne Breakfast in the Hunter Valley Wine Region north of Sydney. Romantic. Sweet. And I dare say, both of them will be floating on cloud nine for some time.
As a father, and soon-to-be father-in-law, I'm again a n00b. My first time with daughter's marriage. Inside I still feel like a teenager, trying to make sense of the world.
On the outside I'm supposed to be a responsible (sic) adult. Wise and experienced 😀 But I still don't presume to give advice. My daughters are all figuring things out on their own. Just like we did.
But if Em was to ask me for a word or too, there is one humble suggestion I'd make:
“Love is a Verb!”
It's not about being “in love” (noun). It's about choosing to love. (verb) Every. Single. Day.
This is a partnership.
Some days there'll be smooth sailing in glistening waters with a tail wind. Some days it may be a grind, heading into the wind. Some days you'll face storms, battening everything down, taking off the sails, and fearing whether you're even going to make it through. Every day will take work. There will always be sails to set, meals to prepare, steering the boat.
You will also need to navigate. To occasionally check the weather, the charts, and figure out where you want to go. Then keep a constant check that you're on track to get where you want to given the environment and weather.
But you choose to do this together. As one complementary organism. You choose to spend your time and money serving each other.
When the bad weather comes, and it will; when you're in a marina and there's a more tempting choice, and there will be; you choose to invest yourself in your partnership.
I'm naive enough to wish Em and Pete the very best for their future in the “happy ever after” sense. Of course, which father wouldn't wish that? I'm practical enough to know that if they choose to love, despite what they're feeling, rather than because of it, they will make the best of it.
No matter what life throws their way.