Flower Power

When one of my best friends from high school asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding, I was excited. Standing up for a bride on the most memorable day of her life is a huge honor.

When that same best friend asked my daughter to be her flower girl, I was excited, but also nervous, anxious and worried. But mostly I was REALLY REALLY excited.

There's nothing parents love more than to watch their children excel and for them to look adorable while doing so (just ask Facebook).

It didn't take long for the bride and I to agree on a beautiful, ivory dress from JCPenney. I found some gold shoes at Shopko to accessorize it and she found a headband and bracelet to complement all of the above.

We spent weeks practicing at home. And not just because we wanted her to get it right. Coming up with new activities (that don't involve screen time or messy art materials) that keep a two-year-old busy can be challenging. This was an easy, mess-free activity so yeah, let's practice 10 times a day.

When others expressed doubt about my little woman actually making it up the aisle on the big day due to her young age, I listened, but knew they were wrong. Faith has an incredible attention span (girl has been to two movies, sat still the entire time and not made a peep). She also follows directions pretty well (on a full stomach). Last but not least, she ADORES other kids. I knew she'd be smitten with the ring bearer, so if he cooperated, Faith would too.

(Sidenote: I make Faith sound like a perfect angel sometimes. That is most certainly NOT the case. She can throw a tantrum just like Carlos Zambrano can throw a pitch. But I don't think you want to see/hear about it when we turn off Mickey Mouse after just one episode. Or when she can't go outside and play because it's raining. Or when Daddy tries to put her to bed instead of Mommy. That's when she acts like she's on an episode of "Real Toddlers of Council Bluffs.")

So where was I? Ah, the rehearsal. As expected, she fell in love with Connor at first sight. They walked down the aisle perfectly, albeit a little slow.

And then they tried to scale the stairs while holding hands. First he fell. Then she fell. (Both were OK.) The second trial run was just as cute as the first. I knew the only questionable part of the D-W-Day would be her nap.

With the ceremony starting at 3, I wasn't sure if we should keep her awake until her walk of fame was finished, or try for an early nap. First the kids had to run out their energy.

With Rob and I both in the wedding party, it was hard to do both the job of usher/bridesmaid and dad/mom of the flower girl and do it well. I kept bouncing back and forth between trying to get Faith to nap, practicing my speech, entertaining a girl who wasn't going to nap for the life of her and being there for my best friend. I don't think I did either one well and it left me feeling inadequate if I'm being honest.

About five minutes before the ceremony I could tell tiredness was kicking in. Faith wanted to be out in the hallway with her buddy Connor but she also wanted to be by her mama. Mama couldn't be out in the hallway. Basically, she ended up in tears right before the wedding was about to start. This is when I momentarily broke down. My friend, the bride tried to comfort me saying she understood no matter what happened.

I wasn't about to let my friend concern herself with this situation for a second, so I just said everything was fine and stood to the side comforting Faith. Yes, my head knew that life would go on if she didn't make it down the aisle and that obviously that was not even in the Top 5 of important things happening that day. However, my heart was devastated by the prospect of no walk.

We had talked this up for weeks -months even- practiced numerous times in the hallway, read books about being a flower girl, shopped for the perfect shoes and spent three hours with the other bridesmaids doing hair and makeup.

I knew how excited Faith was to be a "fairy princess." I didn't want her delirium from exhaustion to ruin it for her. Thankfully, it didn't.

I credit Connor and his cuteness to her making it without crying/making it at all. If it weren't for him, I honestly don't know if she would've done it. But they did. It might've gone down as Guinness' slowest walk ever, but thankfully the aisle was fairly short. Since Connor's dad was at the front of the church, they both stopped there and just stared, not sure what to do next. Faith wasn't going anywhere. Connor leaned over and gave her a hug and she hugged back. Daddy bribed Faith over to him with a pacifier and that was that. Tears fell from my face and I was relieved it was over.

Finally able to concentrate on the bride-to-be, I watched my best friend since elementary school walk down the aisle. She looked so happy. I felt so happy for her. A childhood friend who sang at our wedding performed "God Gave Me You." It sounded like a professional cover. It was the perfect ceremony. Our family was so grateful to be a part of it.

Just ask the dancing queen. (This was after a two-hour pre-reception nap).


  1. So cute, Nicole!

    Reminds me of my wedding -- my niece Julia (now age 11; then almost 4 years old) was a flower girl with her two older sisters. She was first down the aisle, and did great for about 10 feet. Then, the flashbulb went off (Howard [K.] Marcus was our photographer) and she went fleeing back the way she had come, to her mom (my matron of honor). The photo of that moment is hilarious. Her two older sisters held it together and made it down the aisle just fine, and Sean came to the back of the church to retrieve Julia. Although it wasn't the way we had rehearsed (and they rehearsed for hours ... walking through the house "littering" rose petals), it's a great family story. And it's one you'll tell Faith in the coming years. "Do you remember the first time you were ever in a wedding? We weren't sure you were going to make it down the aisle!" She'll love it...

  2. Awww, thanks for sharing, Bridget. Your comment brought tears to my eyes!