Last Wednesday we packed up the sippy cups and fancy clothes and flew the friendly skies to Colorado for Megan and Brian's wedding. It was a big weekend for Flower Girl Jalynn. We arrived at the beautiful Black Forest wedding chapel a couple minutes late the day of the wedding. I tore Jalynn from her car seat and rushed her into the bridal party's dressing room, ripping off her polka-dot leggings and pink cotton dress as though they were tear-aways. Her tights, ivory dress, shoes, and crown of white flowers finally in place, I spun her around in front of the giant gold-framed mirror.
"Mommy, I look like an angel," she said. Her words brought me back into the moment. She was right. She did look like an angel.
About a week before the big day, Jalynn and I started watching wedding videos on YouTube. We glued ourselves to the computer screen as dozens of flower girls from all over the world walked the aisle, smiling and dropping their white flower petals along the way. So when the big day arrived, she was ready.
I watched what I could see of the processional from my post at the end of the front row. I couldn't see Jalynn until she was even with me. Her eyes were focused on the front. I could tell she was determined, driven, and, to my relief, past the threat of potential melt-down. I didn't, however, see any evidence of white flower petals scattered along the middle aisle. She joined me in my seat a few minutes later. A quick glance into her white satin basket confirmed my suspicions. She'd forgotten to drop her petals. My performance-driven, old self would've been quick to point this out. But I resolved not to say anything about it to her. Ever. Turns out, I didn't need to. About 20 minutes after the ceremony ended, Jalynn realized her own oversight.
"I forgot to drop my petals, Mommy!" she said.
"That's okay," I reassured her. But she had other plans in mind.
The two of us went back into the empty chapel, now entirely cleaned up. Jalynn walked down the aisle, smiling her huge, baby-tooth smile as white flower petals flittered from her fingertips. A minute later we gathered them back up into the basket. Both of us laughing the whole time.
On our way back home to my brother's house in Denver that night, I asked Jalynn what her favorite part of the whole day was. "Dropping my petals," she said. Her words brought me back into the moment. Again.