This weekend we attended an engagement party hosted by Christian and his fiancee, Gina. It was held at a bistro in downtown Sacramento and was just wonderful. You get to a point in your lives where your children are completely equipped, willing and financially able to run a show like this. We were simply guests and delighted to play that role.
Christian and Gina greeted us warmly as you would expect experienced hosts would. The rest of the guests, were mainly twenty-somethings. They were well-dressed and well-spoken with high manners. We had met several of their friends before (remember the "move" blog) and was happy to see them all again. And we were introduced to other young men with the lofty titles of Great-Grand-Bro and women as Little Sisters. Clearly, Christan was a part of a larger family tree that had zero to do with genetics. There was just a smattering of other blood relatives and close friends, but for the most part the guests were their "Greek family".
Christian and Gina are both from (but still involved in) the Greek system. Christian belongs to Sigma Chi and Gina is with Phi Sigma Sigma. Say what you will about fraternities and sororities, but you will probably be dead wrong. When Christian approached us about joining a fraternity, we were hesitant, thinking that we would be paying big bucks for him to drink beer with other kids who conned their parents into this deal. But, he made a good case for this brotherhood. Such a good case that we bought into it, both financially and philosophically...and still do. Despite headline news, fraternities and sororities make a difference in communities, campuses and lives. I have watched Christian and Gina work tirelessly on philanthropies and projects to help others, when it would have been easier to pop a cold beer over their homework. In return their respective associations have provided encouragement and support in their own personal times of need. Other than choosing Gina as his life partner, it was the single best decision Christian has ever made.
So we're at the party, mixing easily with this group, and no less than half a dozen young men came up to tell me what a positive and profound impact Christian had made on their lives. MY Christian...THEIR lives. Surprised? No. Honored? You bet! As Jim and I left the party to the "youngsters" we felt lifted and proud. Not new feelings for us, but we never pass up an opportunity to acknowledge the fine things our children are doing to make the world a better place.