Christmas in September

Well, Pam’s wedding is over. It went off beautifully, staying as close to the script as any wedding I’ve yet attended. No rampaging relatives showed up with their own agendas, the bride glowed, the groom cried, the reception was fun, and everyone was happy.

I kept my own advice in mind, making Pam’s happiness my first priority all weekend. It helped. Even so, I would have missed much of the weekend’s emotional pull if it weren’t for the flower girl, Esther, the four-year-old daughter of the best man (the groom’s cousin). She became my buddy, and we stuck together all weekend. She was painfully shy but her huge eyes didn’t miss a single thing that happened. When Pam’s mother crowned Esther with the flower garland for the ceremony, she squeezed my hand and looked up at me with such delight that I laughed. Watching her, I became acutely aware of the beauty of everything around me: the setting (
href=””>a Civil War-era mansion
), the day (an unheard-of cool breeze blew throughout the duration of the outdoor ceremony), and Pam (a fairy-tale princess in the flesh). As we stood on the porch of the old mansion and listened to Pam and Norman repeat their vows, Esther kept looking up at me with a huge smile and wonder in her eyes. It was like Christmas for her — everything was new and beautiful and she was loving every minute of it. Standing with her, I got to see it through her eyes, and I’m so grateful that I got to witness my friend’s wedding in that way. The next time you go to a wedding, I highly recommend holding hands with a four-year-old.

Speaking of holidays, it was such a God-send that yesterday was Labor Day, and I didn’t have to go to work. After I came back from Richmond I slept for nearly 24 hours straight. If you’ve ever been maid of honor, you’ll understand. Oy.