I've known her for all but 6 weeks of her 26 years on this earth, and I've loved her for every one of them. Just 4 weeks to the day older than the Big Cuter, she was a girly-girl in love with Ariel who didn't mind getting dirty. Seret taught her to swim, and she was a dolphin. She played tennis in the cul-de-sac and had a stroke to die for. She was brave and thoughtful and curious and the only girl in Play Group.
Everybody aways wanted to sit next to her; little boys were bitten over the right to do just that. Her smile lit up a room and a McDonald's commercial and the Jumbotron at Kaufman Stadium*. Through it all, she remained the same wide-eyed kid I'd pushed in a stroller.
The Twins thought that they were pretty good baseball players until they caught for her at Stinson Beach. Her dad tried to give them the catcher's mitt, but, hey... we're 13 and totally cool and she's a girl throwing a softball and that lasted exactly one pitch. By the end of her work-out she had a crowd of on-lookers grinning from ear to ear. Oblivious, she ran into the ocean to cool off. And The Twins were right behind her.
There are kids who play on travelling teams for their resumes and there are kids who can't do anything else and then there are kids who are lucky enough to love what they're very very good at and to have coaches who are worthy of their talent. She did. They went to Nationals and she coached a travelling team of her very own when she was really too young but oh, wow, is she good! and now she's the Girls' Varsity Coach at the High School.
Apparently, she's not too young to get married. Having been invited to this event when she was still a babe-in-arms, you'd think I'd have had time to get used to the idea. Forget it. I couldn't look at her or say the words without the little hairs on my arms doing jumping jacks. She found a man who completes her, and since TBG and I have spent the last 34 years filling each other's holes I'm pretty sure I know what she means. Maybe she's not too young, at that.
Daddooooo's mantra was "All brides are beautiful" but this one would have brought a special smile to his face. Her borrowed goods were stunning but it was hard to see them through the reflection of the joy that surrounded her. They were so happy. Their smiles were huge and then they looked at each other and somehow, impossibly, they grew larger. Their eyes twinkled and their hands entwined and they couldn't stop smiling. Grins as she was held aloft on a chair by many strong and handsome and dancing young men. Grins as she threw her Cubs garter. Hugs and smiles and so much love that nobody wanted it to end.
Now they'll go back home and get the puppy from the kennel and resume their lives as if nothing and everything has changed. There's no more planning or organizing or rehearsing. It's just life from a new point of view. A really really nice point of view.
*where the Kansas City Royals play.... for those of us less familiar with the latest nomenclature..... like when did Shea become Citi??????