• 70°

Meet the father of the bride

Reality is starting to set in and just recently it hit me square in the face. I’ve known since early October when my only daughter informed me that she would be getting married in January.

She asked for my blessing and I granted it, just like I did when her fiancé asked for her hand in marriage in May of last year. He’s a great guy and I could not have picked a better man for my daughter than the one she chose to spend the rest of her life with.

The lone stipulation I had when I gave him my blessing was that my daughter had to finish college before they got married. They agreed, but I kind of had a feeling that I wouldn’t see them waiting until she was 23 before they tied the knot. But I tried.

Regardless, the wedding is less than two months away and good ol’ Dad is feeling like a part of him won’t ever be the same. Don’t get me wrong. I am thoroughly happy for the two of them. I really am. But like most parents of teenage children or older, I still see my daughter as this 2-year-old child that is in need of constant care, nurturing and looking after.

Of course she doesn’t really need me that much. After all, she’s a full-time college student with a full-time job and handles responsibility very well. I’ve never had any trouble from her of any kind — ever. I’ve been very fortunate as a parent and count my blessings daily to be so lucky.

But that doesn’t really make it any easier to see her mature into an adult, even though I knew this day would come. Honestly, I’ve dreaded it to see “my baby” grow up.

Her mother and I divorced when my daughter was just old enough to walk, but I vowed that I would be that Dad who supported her in every way so I’ve been to my fair share of baton competitions, indoor color guard events and marching band festivals. I centered my world on making sure she knew her Dad was there for her.

She too has been there for me, enduring her fair share of late-night ballgames that I had to cover as a sports editor and 11 p.m. newspaper deadlines where she fell asleep in a corner of the newsroom.

During it all, the bond we have had has always been strong. But now her heart belongs to another.

Since she got engaged, I’ve had visions of Steve Martin in “Father of the Bride” and the scene where he sees his “little Annie” as a child. That movie gets me every time. I just hope when the day arrives I handle it as well as he did.

Rob Sigler is managing editor of the Oxford EAGLE. Contact him at rob.sigler@oxfordeagle.com.