I break out this picture every May 6th and here is why.
As us girls gathered for pictures before my wedding ceremony, my photographer took some solo shoots of me. Laughing on cue is not my forte.I mean whose is it? So, we enlisted the help of none other than my Uncle Barry. He stood behind our photographer, Katie, and was able to get a genuine laugh out of me, helping her secure a shot. As I type this I feel like I sound like a four-year old at Sears getting photos with someone squeaking a toy in the background for a good laugh.
Uncle Barry stated to Katie, “Now if you are really good, you will capture a photo of TR (that’s my Dad!) smiling.” She gave him an odd look and I am sure she thought to herself, “Why would I not? It is his daughter’s wedding day?” But, she did not yet know TR.
Here is the thing, my Dad is a stoic guy. He is a man of few words. Always has been. Never once did I take his seriousness in life well, seriously! In fact, we took his seriousness in stride and knew no different because that is who he was. I think it never really dawned us either because we grew up in a home filled with love and support. Our Dad, alongside our Mom, was and is our #1 fan. Now don’t take this wrong but we never equated his quiet personality with his happiness. So, don’t let all his seriousness fool you, because behind that furrowed brow, is a big heart. A really, really big heart! And, here is the thing… TR can be quite funny! My favorite is his ability to seize the awkward moments with strangers by making an absurd joke which as a teenager mortified me, but now as an adult I giggle at the exchange. He also gets a kick out of his kids for some reason. We just must be a bunch of comedians or something, because he actually fights back his control to laugh at us. Leading us to say, “Oh, come on don’t smile or anything.” To which he will typically excuse himself and chuckle as he walks out of the room.
We have this joke among our family about my Dad. We say if he smiles that is equivalent to a chuckle. If he makes a sound when he smiles, that is equivalent to your belly laugh and if he actually laughs out loud, well ladies and gentlemen, you just peed your pants in laughter.
Katie, proved her photography skills on my wedding day. It was like Barry put her up to a challenge she had to fulfill. I can just imagine her looking through the lens, waiting for a smile. She actually captured quite a few, because that day my Dad beamed a bit. Basically, we all peed our pants with laughter all day long if you equate it to our joke above.
It was my father’s idea to surprise our wedding guests with a choreographed dance. As our father-daughter dance to Tim McGraw’s “My Little Girl” started to wrap, the music cut into Sweet’s “Ballroom Blitz.” An odd choice of song but a song that was our song as I recall many moments we would blare the speakers in the car and sing along. We rocked and rolled and danced a bit as our wedding guests cheered, clapped, squealed in laughter or were wide-eyed and shocked, like my Mom, as they watched this quiet man turn into an extrovert for a minute.
So, my wedding guests, who truly know my Dad, got the surprise of a lifetime with our surprise breakout dance, our photography got that smile and I got this little gem to always cherish.
Happy Birthday to my Dad! While you often get picked on for being a man of few words and smiles, we know you reserve them for us and the best part is you give us so much love, support and gratefulness that we do all the smiling for you.