The wedding was lovely. The bride glowed and the groom was busting at the seams with joy. After a summer of preparation, it came together like a delicious prime rib dinner with all the sides. Even the weather got in on the action. The sun shone all day and the temperature remained comfortable. But #10 seemed to believe the party was for her.
She was determined to get in the middle of the celebration. When the couple had their first dance, children rushed to the edge of the dancefloor to watch. #10 tried escape her grandparent’s arms in an attempt to toddle onto the dancefloor herself. She did not succeed.
As the bride was my sister, both Wife and I were in the wedding party. But that did not mean #10 was left to her own mischief. No, Wife’s parents had charge of our younger children. During the service and other wedding obligations, the little girl and her brothers were shepherded away from any trouble they might create.
As the party went on, she did her best to make her presence know. Some of you know quite well how a one year-old’s squeals can carry across a room, or field, or a field full of wedding celebrants. Now mind you, she was not upset. These were her squawks of pleasure. The ones with bright eyes, a four-tooth grin, with arms flapping as if she were about to take to the stars.
And then the dancing began.
Couples crowded the dancefloor. But the children at the celebration were not about to be left out. They danced to their own rhythmus as adults maneuvered around them. And chief among the little children was #10.
She bounced to the beat swinging her arms, either in joy, or to keep her balance. She was not content to dance at the edges of the dancefloor, as most children were. She toddled right into the stomping crowd, claiming the center for herself.
More times than I care to count, Wife or I had to snatch the little girl in the puffy dress out of the way of a pair of stomping shoes or clicking high heels. But no matter how many times we set her off the dancefloor, she b-lined it back on. It was like trying to keep the tide back.
But, when the tide comes in, it must go back out.
At the end of the night, our little dancer finally stayed in Wife’s arms and fell asleep.
She will not remember her aunt’s wedding in the years to come, but that is what I am for. When her Big-Day arrives, I will recall how she tried to steal her aunt’s wedding, and nearly got stepped on twice by her new uncle for her efforts.