A funny thing happened on the way to the Catch this week. I was involved in a drive-by … birthday party! It was for our daughter-in-law who turned 40 this week. Unable to arrange for the big gathering he wanted because of the virus, our son, Christopher, arranged to have a bunch of their friends gather in their cars in a parking lot a block away from their house, decorate their cars with balloons and streamers, and then drive by in front of their house like a little parade, dropping off cards and gifts for his wife, Elizabeth, as she stood curbside, greeting everyone and watching us pass on down the street honking and screaming, “Happy Birthday!”
It was a great success and everyone managed to get a personal greeting in as the well-wishers paraded by. Even a couple neighbors backed out of their driveway and got in line.
Every parent prays for God’s will in mates for their children. You pray and hope and agonize while they’re dating. I found that a lot of times you pray, “Lord, please not this one!” Especially with our daughter, Anne, who is a strange bird in that she is intelligent and highly trained as an E.R. doctor, but she is also an excellent surfer and she loves to date guys who surf with her, which makes for lots of fun in the water, except that these guys are never an intellectual match for her, with mostly salt water between their ears.
Just as I did a lot of wincing over Christopher’s choices prior to Elizabeth. Even Chandler worries us with his movie star looks. I can remember picking him up from middle school with four cute little southern California blondes going “We love you Chandler!” as we drove away. Start praying NOW!
But then, as it was with Elizabeth, you finally have a chance to plead, “Please Lord, THIS ONE!” And you can’t believe your good fortune when your son or daughter chooses well. That’s just how we feel about Elizabeth.
At the risk of sounding too perfect, I will say she is an incredibly strong, even-handed mother and loving wife and her optimism seems to know no bounds. You know there’s something good going on when everyone — Christopher, Elizabeth, Marti and I — believe we got better than we deserved. That’s what I call grace.
I will always remember crashing on the floor in a circle in our little cottage while Elizabeth chimed: “He loves me! He loves me! He loves me!” Yes, Elizabeth, he does.
(And so do we.)
Happy Birthday, Elizabeth! We are so happy you were born!