Dee officially crashed her first wedding this last Sunday evening. Her father and I are so proud.
Our dear neighbor Char generously opened her home as locale for the wedding of a niece of a woman with whom she works. The bride is Canadian but the groom is from Mexico and there may have been residency issues in play prompting the haste behind the ceremony. We found out about it the weekend before this last when Dee came home from a visit with Char overflowing with wedding preparation news. There is nothing more interesting to my Cinderella story in any guise loving daughter than a real live wedding.
The ceremony took place in the early evening on the front lawn. It brought back memories for Rob who was also married on a lawn.
“Both of your weddings have technically been on lawn,” I pointed out.
It’s also best to be “foreign” too he concluded later that evening as he overheard the a conversation among the groom’s friends about the importance of not being “from around here” when picking up women.
“I was exotic both times too,” Rob said, “so there might be something to that.”
Dee attended the ceremony and the dinner as she somehow fanagled herself an unofficial invite from the bride’s father during the dry run a few hours before the wedding. Curly hair, wide blue-gray eyes and a smattering on freckles on one’s small Who-like nose will take a little girl far.
She had it in her head to attend the dance. Cinderella at the ball is hugely significant in her current understanding of love and marriage though she’s now also added pinata’s to the “must-have” list.
At dinner Sunday night Dee had questions about marriage.
“Why can you only get married once?”
And I tried to explain the importance of “once” based on current understanding of what making a promise is but her eyes glazed over with incomprehension. Rob’s explanation later included a treaty on divorce and a reminder of the fact that we were in our second marriage, but I don’t think she was satisfied.
In Dee’s mind, a wedding is such an incredibly wonderful thing that it’s silly not to have one more than once. Perhaps she is right. It might be a better world with longer lasting and stronger relationships if we went hog wild and partied to our unions more often than just once or twice, if we are lucky enough to reach one of those vaulted milestones of 25 or 50 years. Maybe we should don finery and have a ball every year?
The wedding dance took place in the driveway which was lined with evergreens awash in white lights. The happy couple tripped their first married lights fantastic to Aerosmith’s Don’t Want to Miss a Thing. Dee huddled in a sheepskin jacket atop a folding chair watching the scene as though it were a Disney princess movie. I sent Rob to retrieve her at about 9:30.
“I’m missing the candy,” she announced as she got ready for bed.
“I’m sure Char will save you some,” I said and she was mollified.
As I tucked her in she asked,
“Why don’t girls dance with girls and boys with boys?”
“Well, they can, ” I told her.
“But not like this,” and she placed her cheek against mine.
“Well, people who dance like that are usually dating, ” I said which is mostly the truth and all the truth a girl needs at seven at any rate. “And girls can date girls and boys can date boys if they want to.”
I added the last part because it is true and because it’s never really too early to introduce your child to the idea that love doesn’t recognize gender boundaries.
Dee made a face.
“I don’t want to date girls,” she said. “Ju’stn likes boys though.”
Ju’stn is the fourteen year old down the street who Rob thinks might be “special” and who Dee had a wild crush on at the beginning of the school year.
“He only ever plays with boys,” she said.
“I’ll send your dad up to tuck you in,” my teachable moments credo will only carry me so far.