LSS: For a thousand years…

I’ve had a song in my head for two weeks now.

Can’t get it out.

I sing it over and over and over.

Much to the delight of my 14-year-old daughter.

If you’ve ever had a 14-year-old daughter, you will remember how charmed she often is by most anything her parents say, do or sing.

But actually, I’ll take that back. Two weeks ago, we celebrated a Quinceanera for Greer, our 14-year-old daughter. And, no, you’re not imagining things. A Quinceanera is designed to celebrate a girl’s 15th birthday. Our daughter’s birthday is in August, and we just didn’t think it would be much fun to invite a bunch of out-of-towners to Lafayette in August.

April, however, is another story.

April in Lafayette is a perfect time to get a song stuck in your head (thanks to Festival International. If you aren’t there reading this, put on your flip-flops and get on down there.)

But this is not a column about the wonders of Festival International, though there are many. This is a column about that song stuck in my head. I fear it may be there forever.

The song is called A Thousand Years by a young artist named Christini Perri sings it.

During our daughters’s Quinceanera celebration right after the mass at church, she and my husband danced to that song. There were many points in the day that were overwhelming and wonderful — like when the mariachis arrived at the party and everyone began to dance. Like the point in the church service when my daughter publicly identified and thanked 15 people who have had a positive influence on her life. But, that moment in the church hall when those two people I so dearly love waltzed (almost gracefully) is likely one that will stay with me until nothing else does.

You see, as I stood there watching them dance, I was able to take in the beauty and say a prayer of gratitude because I knew deep in my heart what was plain for everyone watching to see. That man wearing the purple bowtie — just like the little girl waltzing in his arms requested — unwittingly lives the lyrics of the song she picked for their waltz as sure as anyone is able. Like the song stuck in my head says, in whatever way it is possible to love someone for a thousand years, my husband has loved that little girl in his arms for that long and will love her for a thousand more.

As much joy as is possible for a person to hold, in that moment, I held it.

To be honest, the whole day was like that, on a slightly lesser scale (other than the near-miss wardrobe malfunction when I turned into Quinceanera-zilla mom — however, thanks to the dedication and willingness of a friend, that crisis was averted).

The point of the Quinceanera celebration is to serve as a formal rite of passage representing the girl entering the beginnings of adulthood. In the days that followed our big event, I suspect that Greer wasn’t so keen on all that adulthood holds. As my husband and I got back to work, Greer spent the bulk of three days cleaning and washing and folding.

I believe all the work she did to help our home and lives recover from the festivities was a good reality check for her. Maybe it helped teach her a lesson: If you’re going to go big, at some point you have to go home and clean — a lot.

Otherwise, life just doesn’t work very well.

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