a day in the life of the flower girl...
first, you rise early... because you hear voices and think maybe it's nana. turns out, it's the woman who came to make all the girls' hair so very pretty. turns out, none of the other girls are up and at them yet so you, dear flower girl, come bounding back into the room where mama and papa are still drowsily stirring and you frantically start pulling at your pigtail braids in an effort to take them out. why? we ask. because, you tell us, you get to go first. and that is the start to your big day. sitting on nana's kitchen stool in the bride's room, wearing jammies and playing princess.
the decision is made to leave the rest for later since there are many hours to go until show time and there is much fun to be had in the interim. possible hair-messing-up type of fun, to be sure. so it's breakfast with half-done hair and then off to the farmer's market....
where we stock up on winter squash, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes at our favorite farmer's stand. she's practically family, the dear farmer, and 20 more pounds of her tomatoes (we've already canned 40) find a home in the car as we leave the market and head to a favorite living history farm. it's corn harvesting time and we plan on helping. first, we stop in at the little shop and get a new bonnet (yes, my sweet, just like Laura's), decide not to worry about it messing up your fancy hair, and then head out to help pick field corn for the wildlife center. the ears are as long as your arms, the plants shoot up nearly twice as tall as papa and I.
we fill our basket and pour the corn into the back of the wagon, say hello to farm dog Maggie and head for the popcorn and Indian corn patches to pick some to take home. you very protectively hold your ears of popcorn as we carry them out to our basket. we talk about popping some and saving the rest to plant next year. we can squeeze it in near the hives, we think.
picking the decorative corn is a lot of fun because we never know what color an ear is going to be until shucking it, and the range of colors is amazing. from marbled orange and cream to deep blood red, the colors are intense and beautiful.
after paying for the bonnet and our corn, we drive home to clean up and get on with wedding preparations. the air in the house feels (pleasantly) electrified as everyone hurries around, shutters clicking, hair being pinned, makeup brushed on and dresses zipped and tugged. I recall the day, a bit over eight years ago, when I was getting ready in the very same place before going out in the yard to marry your papa. you sit on my lap to get your hair finished and choose a lovely little pin to be added. the dress goes on, the slippers, the necklace. nana helps pin a bright green bow in place. and then we're off. you are a bit too little to ride to the church in the big bus with everyone else, so I bring you myself, letting you know there will be lots of people and that they'll all want to see you and take your picture. we get there and, as you get out of the car you say loudly "I'm he-eeere everybody!". I quickly realize there's no need to worry about you in the crowd today- you've got this.
you refuse to change out of your dress for the time between the ceremony and reception. you dance and dance and dance, making the photographers' job easy and certainly earning your free ticket in to the adults-only reception. aside from a heel to a little bare foot and a flower pin to your thumb, the night goes very smoothly. everyone looks out for you. you eat your salmon and salad with gusto, gobble up the dessert that comes long after your bedtime, and make it through some fun photobooth pictures with your papa and I. a half hour before the evening officially ends, you pass out over my shoulder and we take turns holding you and dancing.