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Saturday, June 4, 2016

To a dear friend on her wedding day

Dearest Urszula,

Today you get married! I welcome you into the club of globe-trotting, mixed heritage married couples. 

It's club filled with people who decided that their love outweighed the challenges they'd face: differing expectations, ever-present communication problems, hard decisions about places (where to live? who to visit?), names (change it or not? baby names that everyone is happy with?), and so much more. You've met with some of those challenges already, but trust me, more are on their way. Mixed couples have it hard, and many things that wouldn't be a struggle if you married the boy down the street will crop up as major speed bumps to get over. 

So why do we do it? Why are there ever more people joining this club full of arguments and tears and misunderstandings? Why are you doing so today?


Because the love that drew you to this man, so different from you in so many ways (yet so alike in others), feels stronger than any you could have for anyone else.

Because the struggles that we face as mixed couples truly only do make us stronger, and solidify the bonds that we started forging years ago.

Because mixed couples go into marriage with their eyes wide open, knowing they'll have to fight for their love. And sometimes that makes all the difference.

Because the richness that your partner will bring to your life (yes it will increase!) will come in many forms: new places and foods, new languages to conquer, new points of view to understand, new realizations and greater empathy. He will be by your side through those experiences and help you make sense of them and see the beauty in them. 

Because you'll get to do the same for him.

Because your table will be filled with foods from differing corners of the earth (and I know you like to eat).

Because like attracts like, and the other mixed couples you'll meet in upcoming years will be among the most interesting and compassionate people you'll ever know. And you'll immediately be drawn to them, and they to you, and you'll be able to discuss all those struggles and hardships with your new friends, and they will understand like no one else can. They are the rocks you'll learn to lean on. Because couples need couple friends. And again, the richness of your life will multiply.

Because mixed couples make beautiful babies, who grow up with empathy and a unique perspective, who grow up multilingual, multicultural, and as true citizens of the world.

There are so many reasons that this club is a good place to be. I've only been in it for three years and have seen what incredible joy it has brought me. I'm so happy that, starting today, it will bring you the same. Welcome.

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