Being married is really cool.* My wife and I used to work at the same school site, so quite a few people--teachers AND students--got to see us grow together as a couple. Many teachers were invited to the wedding; students were not, as there would have been too many of them. And since the wedding was held on a boat traveling back and forth through the local harbor, we didn't have to worry about students crashing the wedding.
Or so we thought. As it turns out, some of these kids have boats.
So during the reception, five kids--recently graduated seniors, all of whom took my wife's class--in formal wear pull along side the boat with big signs (our names, "4EVA," etc.). Neither the boat charter people nor the photographer had ever seen anything like it. My wife, of course, rightfully flattered, stands on the bow of the boat and shouts, "Do you want cake?"
And, of course, they were allowed to pull alongside. It's one of the many reasons I love her, that she gets such joy from her students (on or off campus). It's a testament to her also; the students didn't have to do this, but they really wanted to. (I found out a few days ago that another student boat slipped past us that morning, but didn't make their presence known.) There are a lot of people she and I work with (teachers and students) that have become meaningful parts of our lives. It's days like that wedding day that remind me of that.
The anniversary of 9/11 is becoming known as "Patriot Day." I understand the rationale, since the WTC attacks were committed as an act against the nation itself. If you look at photos from the memorials going on across the country today, however, we don't seem to be celebrating a whole lot of patriotism--we seem to be celebrating the lives of the people who died in the attack (which, for the record, is NOT a bad thing).
So I have an idea.
If 9/11 taught us anything, it's that the people you work with every day can be taken from you suddenly, en masse, and without warning. Appreciate the "everyday people" in your lives. Don't say "hello" to them as if this is the last day you'll ever see them again--that's just scary and weird--but internally, find the warm fuzzies inside yourselves and realize that these people you see every day (at work, at home, at the gym, at Starbucks--wherever) have come to mean something to you . . . even if that "something" is familiarity and routine. If the banners, tributes, and tears I'm seeing on the news today are any indication, it's easy to take people for granted.
Moving to a different school site after seven years is not at all like losing someone in a terrorist attack; but I gotta admit--I think I understand the sense of loss a bit better now.
*This is my third marriage, but this is the first marriage in which I feel I did everything correctly and appropriately from the beginning--pre-marital counseling, discussions about our relationship, actually telling people I was getting married, and not rushing things. I would not go back and re-do the past, though, since each decision I've made and action I've taken has led me to this point in my life. This marriage, however, may be one of the highest quality things I've done with my life.