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Flower Girl Debut
I can’t recall the exact day my Dad first met my stepmom, but I can remember very clearly the day s before their wedding. I can remember that the night before my soon-to-be step mom drove my soon-to-be stepsister and I out to the last fitting of our flower girl dresses. I was especially proud of these dresses because I had been allowed to pick them out. This, as we all know, is a lot of power to an eight year old. Next were the manicures, the quick stop for dinner on the go and home for showers and an early bedtime.
“Meghan, you can’t have those tattoos on for tomorrow,” my stepmother said as she handed me a washcloth and sent me to the bathroom.
“Okay,” I said quietly.
For one reason or another, Roosevelt Elementary had decided to give out fake tattoos to all the students at lunch that day. Although I knew I probably shouldn’t have them, the temptation was too much for my little kid-self to handle. I had only hoped my stepmom, Abby, wouldn’t notice, but the bright American flag filling a heart on my hand was certainly attention grabbing.
My stepsister and I were all showered and ready for bed when my dad came to say goodnight and that he would see us tomorrow. I knew the rules of a wedding were that the groom couldn’t see the bride before the wedding, but I still didn’t understand why.
I woke up the next morning to find breakfast and a hairdresser waiting in the kitchen.
“Come on girls. We’ve got to get a jump on being ready for today,” said Abby as we each took a seat in front of the hair stylist.
First my stepsister went and then it was my turn. We both giggled as we played with our new, bouncy curls.
“One more thing,” the stylist said as she added a few strands of baby’s breathe to our hair, “You girls look so pretty!” she gushed.
Time moved quickly for the rest of that. While we waited for my stepmom to come downstairs, my stepsister pulled me into the bathroom.
“Here, we have to put some sparkles on,” she smiled and pulled out a little black box.
Inside the box there was a big white puff ball and a giant puddle of sparkles. My eyes went wide and I eagerly let her cover my face in sparkles. Not only was I excited about the sparkles, but because my new big sister thought they were cool, so did I. This was the only thing about the wedding that had me excited. My stepsister and I were attached at the hip, twins almost, and now we were going to be actual sisters!
Finally, my stepmom walked down the stairs and we took a few pictures before piling into the limo to go to the church. Another thing I didn’t understand, the need for millions and millions of pictures BEFORE the actual wedding. We all looked so pretty and elegant. The ceremony began very quickly and in the blink of an eye it was my turn to walk down the aisle. I carefully remembered to walk the way the pastor had showed us the night before, he called it “The Wedding March”. I looked up and saw my dad smiling as first I sprinkled petals and my stepsister followed.
It was probably because I had the attention span of and eight year old, but the ceremony seemed to speed up. Before I knew it the “I do’s” were done and we were posing for more pictures. The flashing and constant smiling was getting annoying. We shifted one way, flash! We shifted the other way, flash!
I was no longer in the party mood, however, more people piled into the limo to go to the reception. It was there that I took my stand, little kid-style. Looking back now I don’t remember why I had to go sit in the dining room away from everyone else, but that’s what I did.
Not two seconds later, my uncle Sean and my father were walking in and quietly questioning me. Was I mad at them? What was wrong? Did I want to be left alone? The answers were as follows: No, I wasn’t; I didn’t know; and No, not really. I was left to ponder why I suddenly didn’t want to be here, around these people I had just met. I couldn’t figure it out, so I just sat. Finally someone came and found me, again. It was my stepsister, the one person I always wanted to be around.
She didn’t ask why I was there or if I was mad. She just sat down next to me and we talked and giggled. Eventually we got up and made our way back to the crowd.
The rest of the night is kind of fuzzy, but that part remains clear. My new big sister had, in a way, come to my rescue. Perhaps it had been that I just needed someone to talk to me about something other than the wedding, but regardless, the issue was solved simply by her being there.
I also remember that we whined until we got Wendy’s instead of the gross “grown up food”, than spilled ketchup on our fancy dresses. I remember that we never fed each other cake like we had practiced with French fries in the months before. But most of all I remember being the little kid that was running around trying to understand why a simple wedding was so exciting to all these big people.