Part 3: The ToastSeptember 16, 2008
WE are proud of our daughter/stepdaughter. We asked Stormie to perform the duties of toastmaster at our wedding because she knows us better than anyone else does, and she is the eldest child. Age does bring privilege as well as responsibility; our request of her demonstrates both.
Noted: Stormie took her own sweet time setting up for the toast. She walked across the dance floor to get the music stand to hold her notes. She fumbled with her glasses. She looked around the room and took a deep breath. This is what we heard:
Are you ready?
First of all, I want to say what a huge honor this is. Daddy sent me a text Wednesday morning to check my e-mail for a “special request.” I was working at the library, thinking it was a link to a gift or something like that. When I checked, it was actually a link to “How to Write a Great Wedding Toast.” I cried immediately, partially overwhelmed and partially thrilled. So… I hope I was the best choice.
SCOTT, right before I first met you, I was so excited. I think Daddy could tell, and he said, “He’s not used to teenage girls, and he may be shy.” You were, but I was ready to get to know you. I knew I liked you as soon as you thought I was funny. It didn’t take long for us to bond over our orneriness and ability to irritate Daddy. Now, we take turns teasing each other, telling dirty jokes, and talking about how much trouble you’ll be in once I’m not around. Scott, I’m happy to say welcome to the family. It’s been easy to let you in our life, and it only gets better with the Clarks. I love you, and I hope my hugs will always make you feel better.
DADDY, when anyone asks about you and me, I use my favorite response: “I am my Father’s daughter.” So, to see you happy makes me happy. We had a conversation last Spring about leaving your comfort zone and giving out what you want in return. You’re proof that it works. I’d like to think you know exactly how I feel about you two, but just in case you don’t, there’s never been a question in my mind that you’re made for each other. Thank you for everything you’ve done for us. You’ve made my life more interesting by being a part of yours. I love you.
Daddy 1 and Daddy 2, congratulations, and I wish you nothing but the best. I love you both.
Life is a journey, not a destination. Here’s to making the journey together.
As mentioned elsewhere in this blog, there were very few that could listen to that, knowing even part of our story, and not shed a tear. I heard reports of full-blown crying. I know I had tears just gushing from my eyes.
Everything she said is true. Stormie was nervous about meeting Scott, they hit it off well, and now, they are partners in teasing me, almost relentlessly. Stormie and I both have had our share of problems, none that we’d be in a hurry to repeat. We’ve both done our homework and find ourselves in a healthy place, each of us cheering the other on. She is her father’s daughter, and sometimes it hurts to see ourselves in the other, though most of the time, it’s great to see a loving reflection. Stormie gets that Scott and I are not only good for each other, but that there’s a deep connection that might not show on the surface. Anam Cara: I am his, and he is mine.
There’s no question that our children’s lives became more interesting when we came out to them. Surprisingly, they’ve suffered very few incidents of bullying or taunting because of us. I’m sure this is an indication that the younger generation is less concerned about who’s gay and who’s straight. They have met people, gone places, and seen things that they might never have encountered had Scott and I remained closeted. Their lives are richer because of it. I can hear it in their conversations, and I can see it in the smiles on their faces. Our confidence in ourselves overflows to the kids. Daddy 1 and Daddy 2 (thank you, Sawyer, for the new names) are on a journey together that includes getting our children moving on their own journeys. It’s exciting to see where we all might go next.