I am attending a wedding this weekend. It’s the wedding of a dear friend, and it’s in Cleveland.
This means conversations at work went a little something like this:
“What are you up to for the long weekend?”
“I’m going to Ohio.”
“Wait, why Ohio?”
“I’m going to a wedding in Cleveland.”
The idea of going to Ohio with a precious long weekend seems a bit odd. Here’s the thing. it’s not about where you’re going, it’s about what you do when you get there. Here in Cleveland, I am staying with a great friend and spending time with her growing family. I am witnessing another friend grow her family through marriage. I am meeting a whole host of new people on both the bride and groom’s side. I am learning about love, life, and marriage in ways I don’t get to do holing away in my apartment writing and reading feverishly.
I am seeing the extent to which we as a society are failing couples with children. It really does take a village to raise a child. Forget a village; it takes an army! Children are wonderful, they are pure light, but they also take a lot of work in the form of time, attention and emotional investment. When you see your friends work within modern constraints to bring life into the world and sustain it, you begin to realize just how much more work we as a society need to do in order to really make families happy and healthy.
On the other hand, there’s the wedding — the act of a marriage being born. It’s so wonderful to see everyone around the couple as they celebrate their big day. But what happens when the booze and food are gone, and the child is born? Is everyone still going to gather around? I sincerely hope so.
In more ways than one, this trip to Cleveland is wonderful — the tour of my friends’ lives and the opportunity to witness their growth is greater than any tour through Tahiti or climb up Mt. ImpressYourFriends. Sometimes, you have the most exotic, wonderful place in the world is wherever you need to be to be present in the lives of the people you care about, and sometimes that means going to Cleveland*.
*-Note: As a former political junkie who had never been to Ohio, the state is fascinating! The demographics are unendingly fascinating, and the food is actually amazing. Go to Yours Truly for breakfast and go to Tommy’s for lunch. When you’re at Tommy’s get the Moose Tracks milkshake with malt, and find someone to enjoy it with. Rent a car and drive through the incredible neighborhoods and soak up the incredible history of America. Seriously, on your next three-day weekend, go to Ohio.