Last week, Jake insisted I plan a Greek family photo session "for his graduation". I didn't think very much of it because we've been meaning to do it for a long time and graduation is a pretty good reason to get the whole family together. Lots of people won't understand what I mean when I say "Greek family", but its a great tradition that has meant a lot to us. When you pledge a fraternity or sorority, you are given a big sister or big brother to be a mentor to you and to guide you in the values of the fraternity. Later on, you can choose a big brother or big sister of the opposite gender if you choose to... it's usually someone you look up to as well. Eventually these relationships form a whole network of bigs and littles and grand bigs and great grand bigs and "sibs" (other littles of your big) and "twins" (other littles of your big that pledged at the same time that you did). It can get complicated, but thats not the point... the beauty of all this is that these people become your college support system. They are often the people who know all the weird things about you and still bail you out when you are in peril. You rely on them, fight with them and love on them just like family. Well, between me and Jake our Greek family has gotten pretty large and pretty awesome. Many of them are even a part of our bridal party...Check them out!
What I didn't know is that Jake was planning on using our photo shoot as an opportunity to give me my wedding gift! Half way through, he pulled me up in front of everybody and presented me with an ΣΑΕ legacy pin! It was exactly what I was hoping for! Legacy pins are such a beautiful tradition and I'm a sucker for old school romanticism! Basically, when a fraternity man gets married he can present his new wife or fiance with a jewel encrusted version of his fraternity pin. This pin becomes a family heirloom. The wife will hold onto it and protect it until their children go to college. If they have a son, he will be considered a "legacy" of his father's fraternity and if he chooses to join that same fraternity, his mother will pass on the pin given to him by her husband. He will in turn give the pin to his wife to hold for their son and the chain will continue (even if it skips a generation or two). Our fraternity experiences have been so influential to me and Jake that I'm pretty confident that we will eventually have an ΣΑΕ son or grandson! I got a little emotional, but I'm so glad our close friends could be there to share the moment with us. Now I have my "something borrowed" and my "something blue"!