Tuesday, October 11, 2022

10 Arms and 2 Smiles


10 Arms and 2 Smiles

Dad's Rehearsal Dinner Speech
October 8, 2022 

Tonight, is about love – recognizing love, basking in it, celebrating it. 

And, boy howdy, we need look no further the smiles on these two faces for undeniable, irrefutable proof that a very special love is here in our midst.

But love is so damn complicated, isn’t it? We yearn for it, regret it, fight for it, and run from it, sometimes all in the same heartbeat.

Who here believes in love at first sight? (hands)

Well, by the time we're done here tonight, I guarantee you'll all to believe in the power of love at first sight.

Many of you know Pam and My origin story, so just a quick recap:

-       True story. 36 years ago, pretty much to this very day, I spy Pam across a crowded computer room, and turn to my coworkers.

-        I blurt out, “I’m going to marry that girl.”

-        They laugh

-        Here we are…


We parents love all our kids no matter what, but isn’t it amazing how every kid is so different. It's like the Creator put each of them in our life to teach us a separate lesson.

In David’s case, maybe a whole host of lessons…

But looking back, I now see that God really only had one job for David in our lives. And so far, he is doing a pretty good job of it.

After 29 years, I’ve finally figured it out. David’s job is to teach us to let down our guard, open ourselves up, come face to face with our humanity, and let ourselves laugh. Really laugh.

And, he started doing that job the moment he was born.

Many of you do not know David’s origin story, so another quick recap:

Mostly true story. 28 and 1/4 years ago almost to the very day, David, as usual, was chillin’ – just kickin’, nice and warm, no hassles, no particular rush. Until Pam’s obstetrician decided the time had come to put an end to his gravy train ride.

Normally, you’d expect mother nature to sort these things out. Water breaks, everyone freaks out, Dad drives to the hospital like a madman, some other unmentionable stuff happens, and poof, the nurse hands you a nice clean baby, all swaddled up and ready to go.


Well, like I said, David was chillin’, so he ignored all that, and enjoyed a ride into the hospital at the speed limit. He swam around while they induced Pam into labor. In fact, he messed around so long that Pam’s epidural started to wear off. So now she’s screaming at me like this is somehow my fault.

Eventually, old 8 Arms and a Smile here decides to cooperate.

Only there’s a small -- well actually, a pretty big -- problem. Despite all the swimming around, Pam’s water still had not broken.

So here we are, Davey swimming, Pam screaming and swearing, Me looking helpless as usual. 

Doc, looking slightly irritated in the way that doctors sometimes do, steps out of the room, comes back with a crochet hook.

And Kablam, water’s shooting everywhere -all over the doctor, nurse, dad…


And Kablam, Here’s Davey!

Others say this isn’t true, but I swear to you, he never cried.

There he was, covered in heaven knows what filth, with that Kurt Douglas cleft in his tiny chin…

Grinning at me…

In fact, I’m sure he winked at me...

And then...

He pee’d all over the poor doctor.

Quite the entrance.


Since then, Davy Wavy has cracked us up more times than I can recall, but one story stands out and we’ll leave it there.

This one happened when he was about 12-13 years old.

We’re all sitting in the living room, I don’t remember why, probably a birthday party, when down the stairs hops little David. Stark naked except for a pair of tighty-whiteys. He marches into the room, never says a word, turns around and he’s got the underwear rolled up like a thong so his butt’s wiggling in our faces, he slaps himself on the cheek, grins that grin, and runs back upstairs.

We practically wet ourselves laughing. 

Funny thing about that. I remember thinking at the time, that if David ever did get married, it would have to be to an elementary school teacher. I mean, who else could wrangle any sense into a kid like that?

Years flew by – family vacations, drum lessons, sports, summer camp, trips to the ER, high school, cars, friends, concerts, college, more trips to the ER, purely platonic relationships with a girlfriend or two, more trips to the ER, job interviews, work…

Then poof, he was gone. Off to live with friends in the big city.

Quiet. The house was soooo quiet. Which was nice...for a minute, and a little sad.

Then COVID. All hell breaks loose, kids are coming/going/crying/moving, stealing all our phone chargers, toilet paper, masks, hand sanitizer.

And, in the midst of all this chaos, we get a call. 

“Hi, Mom and Dad. Remember that girl I met?”


“We are driving to Florida. Today. To hide from COVID. We’re going to live with her Dad.”


We shrug.

It’s David.

“Ok. Tell us about her…”

“She’s a school teacher.”

“Oh, really. Where?”


“Mmm. What grade?”


“Mmm HMMM. And what subject does she teach?”

“Sex Education”



I blurt out, “He’s going to marry that girl!”

Pam laughs at me.

And here we are…


Please raise your glasses.

John and Andrea – we owe you such a debt of gratitude.

Just like David - Pam and I fell in love with Erica at first sight. The very first time she stepped into our home, she just fit. The more we get to know her, the more we love her. Erica is amazing – smart, funny, driven, down to earth. And, best of all, she loves David, our grinning, winking, butt-slapping 8 Arms and a Smile.

Her love has transformed David, focused him, settled him, and brought out the very best in him.

His love for her gives his life new purpose, balance, and direction.

Their love for each other is an inspiration for all of us here.

We love our son.

We really, really, love your daughter.

But we absolutely ADORE David and Erica.

Here’s to a wonderful wedding tomorrow and a happy, healthy life together.


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