Dr. Popkin on being the father of the bride

by Michael Popkin, Ph.D.
Founder and President, Active Parenting Publishers

Move over, Steve Martin. There’s a new FOTB in town. After 30 years of watching our daughter, Megan, mature from the “cutest baby ever” to a confident, successful young woman, I had one of those rare, so-called “peak moments” in life when I had the honor to walk her down the aisle in June. I had no idea that my heart would be so full of joy with every step we took in that late afternoon California sun, but later when I rose to give my wedding toast all I could do was to repeat a line from the movie Little Big Man: “My heart soars like an eagle!”

Of course, I recovered enough to also thank our guests, acknowledge the special relationship my wife (of 32 years and 2 days) and our daughter continue to share, and impart a few words of wisdom to the newlyweds. The gist of this was the half glass of wine that I held up and said, “Some people will look at this glass and say it is half full. Others will say that it is half empty. But in this land of sun and grapes they say that both groups miss the point. The point is that the glass is…refillable.” Then I added a little about how marriages are refillable, too. Sometimes the marriage is full to the brim with love, passion, and joy. At other times it will feel a bit drained—or even a lot drained. But if you have a good source, like the love you share tonight, you can refill your glass.

Now, while writing this letter, I’m reminded of the “Taking care of the caregiver” sections in our Active Parenting programs. The energy that parents use up each day “protecting and preparing” their children to “survive and thrive” needs constant refilling from a good source. Those of you who help parents learn how to do this give a gift that will be passed on from year to year as their children grow, develop, and live to share their own peak moments.

As always, thank you for what you do for children and families.