What a week!

On Tuesday my first grandchild was born. On Thursday I held a departing senior while we cried on each other. On Friday I printed a contract for a three-book deal with a top small press publisher. Today I watched a man I’d just met cry as he read a speech at his daughter’s wedding, where I officiated.

How was your week?

I’m still processing some of what happened this week. Some of it, I think, may be transformative and will need to be digested and maybe posted on its own later. For now I’ll just hit the highlights.

Beau Steven Wedel was born to my son Alex and his wife Mika Wedel late Tuesday morning. Yes, he’s named after me. And yes, he is the most handsome baby alive. I remember when his dad was born I was shaking so badly I wasn’t sure I could hold him. No such problem with Beau, though. I couldn’t wait to get hold of him, and just wish I could hold him more often. There is nothing better than that new baby smell!

I have been teaching for eight years now. I have had some students I really, really liked in the past. But there was a group this year, a small group of girls in particular, who became like daughters to me as I co-sponsored this class for three years. I never would have believed I’d break down over them graduating and moving on with their lives. I knew the day was coming. I practiced in my head how I would say good-bye, but even then the lump came to my throat and, yes, the water to my eyes. When the day came and they cried first … There was no helping it. I’m still sad. Still having trouble imagining my class or the halls without them, but now that we’ve pushed through that last day of their high school careers, we can focus on a new era of friendship.

But something one of those girls wrote in my yearbook won’t leave my mind. I’m still turning it over and over. It was so simple, and yet so profound. I will deal with it later.

I have mentioned on Facebook before that I had a novel make it through the preliminary stages of a genre publisher I really wanted to work with. Well, that novel made the cut and they asked what else I have, so I told them about two others I have in different stages, and they want those, too. I suppose I shouldn’t announce the deal yet, but I’ll say I’m more excited than I ever thought I’d be for a small press again.

A few years ago I got “ordained” through Universal Life Church and filed with the local county office to perform weddings. It was kind of a joke to see if it was really as easy as I’d heard. Today I officiated my first real wedding. It was for a student I had as a sophomore my first full year as a teacher, and then again for her senior year. Her dad is my age and seems like a nice guy. He was a little nervous about making a speech at the start of the reception. He barely said the first word before starting to cry. Someday I’ll have to do that. I suspect that’s going to be even harder than sending my adopted school daughters off to college.

Life is a series of changes that come whether we want them or not.

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