my toast

by Kay

My daughter gets married in a week. I’m giving a toast on Friday, the night before the wedding. We’ll go to the rehearsal, then to supper, and then to a fire pit in the park. Brad will bring his guitar. We’ll roast marshmallows. Parents will give toasts.

I’ve always been shy about public speaking and I’m a bit nervous. Sarah’s dad died a few years ago, or he would probably be giving the toast. I needed to step up.

Here’s what I’m saying:

When Sarah was little, one of her first favorite books was The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. It’s the story of a little boy and his very first snowfall. He goes outside and makes tracks in the snow, he makes a snow angel, and he builds a little snowman. He sees some big boys. They’re having a snowball fight. He wants to play with them, but he knows he’s not big enough yet. So, instead, he makes a snowball and puts it in his pocket to save it for tomorrow.

This is Sarah. Always saving for tomorrow. She could save Jelly Bellies until they petrify. Now, our tomorrow is here.

Sarah, you have grown to be a strong, independent, and ethical woman. Yet somehow, you have managed to maintain your sensitivity and innocence, and, you look quite beautiful tonight.

Eric, I could look forever and not find a better father than you are, to Liem, and maybe to another baby someday. I will be honored to call you my son-in-law. No, my son.

Ann and Peter, I look forward to grandparenting with you. (No pressure, kids.)

Liem, just when I thought my heart was ready to burst, you come along, and teach me that Lego’s have “pieces” not “parts” and that “old people can have adventures, too.” I’ll always be ready for adventures with you, if we are biking, or swimming, or even playing basketball.

So, here’s to Eric; his soon-to-be wife, my daughter, Sarah; to our friends, our family; and, to tomorrow.

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