Dave and I had known it was coming. In May, our son, Tucker, called us, his grandparents, and his sister to let us know he was planning to propose to his girlfriend, Lisa. He wasn’t sure when he’d make his move, but it would be soon. He said he had a couple of ideas, but was having difficulty acquiring permits.
Times have changed. Dave asked me to marry him in a parking lot on Cape Cod after a party. He was dear and loving, but the only permit required was bestowed by my dad. Dave offered his much sought-after Bloody Mary recipe hand-tooled on leather and mounted on a wooden plaque in exchange for my hand. Dad thought he was getting a great deal.
Tucker, clearly, had something more in mind. Spring passed. A trip to Spain passed. (A combination of business for Lisa and pleasure for them both and, we thought, an excellent opportunity for a proposal… Not so.) July arrived – stultifying, steamy, debilitating. Still no word.
Dave and I departed for Italy. Much as we love that country, it was hard to fully appreciate Florence as the heat bore down, suffocating and heavy. It would not have been surprising to see Michelangelo’s David spin his legendary marble sling in an effort to stir a breeze.
To accommodate the time change and snag some cell service, Dave and I climbed a small hill one night to check in on our kids. When connection with our son was established, he crowed, “Tonight’s the night!” He was off on his mission – whatever was permitted - and would not divulge details. “I’ll call you tomorrow,” he said.
As much as we wondered what he might do, it was astounding to realize our boy had found the girl with whom he wanted to spend his life. “When you know, you know,” he’d said. In the way of mothers, or this mother at least, I flipped through a mental slide show: his birth, toddler Tucker sucking his thumb and stroking the ear of his beloved stuffed pig, Bacos, little Tuck in his corduroy Osh Kosh jacket, barreling toward me for a hug, adolescent Tucker, tight-lipped and reserved, and then the blessed transformation when his spontaneity, kindness and humor re-surfaced as he grew in confidence, grew into his Ingersoll nose, grew into himself.
Dave and I were standing above a vineyard in Tuscany when Tuck’s call came. We huddled close to the cell phone blaming faulty service and inadequate satellites when we thought we heard Tuck mention snow in Boston.
“Sorry, Tuck. Once more? Stupid phone…”
“I had 800 pounds of snow trucked in to the Esplanade!” The Esplanade is a park that runs along the Charles River, cooler than some spots, perhaps, but ice cubes in a drink were a fleeting pleasure on these sweltering days, so we were incredulous. Snow? In Boston? In July?
“I tried to get a permit for ice sculptures, but the city wouldn’t allow it. The 4th was out as the Boston Pops perform their annual concert on the Esplanade. Then, a movie was being filmed on the site. What a process! Finally, I was able to get a permit for this date and the snow. Lisa loves to ski,” he explained. “We joke about her being a ski bunny and I knew she’d get a kick out of this. So I had a guy build a ski slope with a family of stuffed bunnies perched on it. The words ‘Will you marry me?’ were sculpted on the bottom in ice.” I could hear his grin, so gleeful was his tone.
In today’s world, one need rarely speculate or imagine for long. By the time we returned to our room and Dave’s computer, Tuck had posted a photo gallery documenting the delivery of bags of snow, the creation of the snow sculpture, Tucker and Lisa’s arrival on the scene, and my boy on one knee. There were pictures of the kiss, a brief snowball fight, and Lisa’s “yes!” written in snow on the ground.
Such a romantic, our Tucker. Who knew!?
Link to Pictures