A couple of weeks ago, I had reached out to you fabulous readers for any advice on preparing my daughter to be a flower girl in my brother-in-law’s wedding. I received excellent tips and encouragement, thank you so much! I made sure the kid was well-rested, well-fed, and that we hyped this gig up as much as we possibly could. We practiced several times at the rehearsal, and instructed that all she needed to do was walk to daddy (the Best Man) who would be standing next to Uncle Patrick, the very important groom. Her reward at the end of the journey would be a little bag of gummy bears. It seemed like a concrete plan and she seemed like she totally bought into it. But I had to remind myself several times that even if she refused to walk down the aisle, or if she cried, etc. then it would still be a funny tale to tell.
Upon arriving at the venue, my child was so excited she was running all over the place looking for her dad. It was hard to keep her calm. I was counting down the minutes until showtime. When the wedding march began, I held my daughter’s furiously squirming body as tight as I could. She so wanted to run down at that very moment, not understanding why she had to wait for the bridesmaids to proceed before her. All I could do was say to her calmly “Not yet, sweetheart,” even though my heart was pounding out of my chest. After the Maid of Honor was out of sight, I set her down on the ground, and hoped for the best. The path she had to walk was waayyy longer than what we had practiced the night before. She had to journey down a long walkway, down four stairs, walk another little path, turn left, and head down the aisle. “Oh sh*t!” was all I kept saying in my head. I think I was more nervous for this moment than my own wedding!
With a little help from the wedding planner who was at the bottom of the steps and some cheering from the audience, my daughter RAN down the aisle shouting “Daddy, daddy, daddy!!!” I could hear laughter, aawww’s, and cheers from the crowd. From what I was told by eyewitnesses, my husband had tears in his eyes (what a sap!) as she ran up to him. I felt a rush of relief and a whole lot of pride. But, I missed the whole thing because I had to stand in the back, away from the photographer’s path to the shot. Of course. Isn’t that how it works with mothers? We do all the preparing, worrying, and loving, only to stand in the sidelines and let our children shine.
From what I could hear of the minister’s speech back in the nosebleed section because there were no seats left by the time I made it down the aisle, I was reminded of my own wedding vows on my wedding day. I thought about how those promises I made to my husband apply to my daughter too. That stuff about for better or worse; in sickness and in health (especially when she’s vomiting on me at 3 am); to love and to honor, all the days of my life? Those committments pretty much sum up what it is to be a mother.
Thankfully, the moment will not be lost to me forever because Uncle Buddy was kind enough to have filmed the ceremony. I hope I will get to see it soon. After the ceremony, my husband could not stop gushing with pride over his little girl. He even admitted to crying a little because her run down the aisle gave him a glimpse into the future to our daughter’s big day someday. As for me, I am good with my new place in life. That place where I am doing all the work and then standing in the background, with an abundance of love and pride overflowing in my heart. That’s the promise and committment I made to my family, and I would not want it any other way.