On Saturday my son gets married. Here are my words of advice.
You’re all growed up! Not really, you little caccamuffin. Obviously as far as I’m concerned you’re still 4 and making car noises. You still have fat little legs and chubbly knees and you still tuck your feet under your bum. You still give each micro machine it’s own little voice and no matter how nicely you play there’s still going to be a crash. You still pretend to be a cat and lap your milk from a saucer. You still draw people with long legs and big smiles and no arms. You still get cross enough for the stork bites on your neck to flare bright red and you still laugh so much you have an asthma attack.
You know what it’s like to have joy. When you’re married sweetheart don’t forget to still play. There are loads of really growed up things to do like bleeding radiators and bastard call centres and you’ll do those things because you know they need doing but still enjoy the fantasy, the absurd and the ridiculous. Have fun. You’re kind and generous but it’s still ok to laugh when people do that tripping up in the street and pretending they’ve fallen over a cat thing. You’ll help them up and make sure they’re ok because that’s who you are and you’ll pretend there was a cat too for their benefit but you’ll still think its funny. Don’t stop laughing.
You know how it feels to be loved. You’re marrying a beautiful, talented and loving young woman who loves you perhaps as much as you will ever be loved. Make sure that you love her as much on the days that she isn’t adorable as you do on the days when she is. Take her hand and hold her and keep her safe when you can because you are capable of so much compassion, love, care and kindness. And don’t be afraid to be loved back. On days when things hurt and when you are tired and afraid let her take your hand and hold you and be kept safe by her. She will love you as much for your vulnerability as she will for your strength. Sometimes more.
You know it’s good to have dreams. When you were little you dreamed of a Nintendo and you should still wish for the things you want. To think about what’s ahead and what needs doing and what the future will be and how much money you’ll need is good, but don’t forget to enjoy today for what it is. The fridge magnet aphorisms are not worthy of you. It’s pointless believing each day will be your last – for one thing you’d be constantly planning a funeral and that would be tiresome. There’s nothing wrong with looking forward to tomorrow but the things you will really cherish and value will not be things at all but will be how you felt. Memories won’t be the sofa but sitting next to someone on it. They won’t be a car, but will be where you’ve been, and won’t be the house but will be the things that happened there.
You have super powers. You can actually create the memories that others will have of you. I didn’t realise this until it was a bit late because I was caught up in getting by. Do you remember the day I thought our caravan would blow up and I was scared and I made you scared too? Realise it now. Start today by programming people and they will forget that you made them scared and remember you made them happy.
Believe it is forever. For some people it isn’t but for you believe it is. And make it forever. Remember when you’re busy to still plan time together before life and work and other people steal all the blank space in your calendar. Talk to each other. For every ten conversations about blocked sinks have one honest one.
Housekeeping is dull but necessary and the more you do the less you’ll be embarrassed when you get burgled. And housekeep your friends. Your best friends may be the ones you have known for ever or the ones you met today but they will be the ones who give you as much as you want to give them. Don’t be afraid to clear out the people who take from you and give nothing in return. You’ll know who they are because you can actually touch and taste and see and feel their love and they are the ones who will always answer the call.
Enjoy your wedding day. Remember every single thing and every tiny moment. Look at how happy we all are because we are all happy to be with you.
And don’t get too drunk.