OPINION: ODE TO A FLOWER GIRL
I recently attended a wedding, and at the risk of losing some of my “guy” status, I have to admit that I love weddings.
More accurately, I love the party after a wedding. It’s a moment shared with family and friends that holds pure potential for an amazing life.
After this particular wedding, I recalled something I wrote shortly after my oldest daughter, Sophia, was a flower girl in a wedding. It’s called “Ode to a Flower Girl.”
It’s a beautiful wedding.
He’s a good man, respected around here.
Quick to help; honest and sincere.
She’s a good woman; she loves him well.
They’re happy together, it’s easy to tell.
But, I see in a corner, where my heart and soul stand,
In a little silver dress, flowers in hand.
She touches the flowers pinned in her hair.
Looks around; I see she looks scared.
She’s nervous, but others don’t see,
That look in her eyes that speaks volumes to me.
Then, she sees me, relaxes, and beams me a smile.
She’s better now, so she’s okay for a while.
She faces the front, hands at her side,
A sigh of relief, and I’m swelling with pride.
But the scene changes, the church fades away.
I’m in another church on a distant day.
Years have flown by, my little girl’s not the same.
She’s found her own groom, and she’s taking his name.
She’s grown up, and she’s now on her own.
She’s fallen in love, and she’s leaving my home.
My flower girl’s grown up, and this is HER day.
Now, I’ve got to find the strength to give her away?
I’m supposed to stand before God and the world and give her away?
I’m not that strong…
But, I don’t have to be. Not today!
Today, she’s still my little girl.
Today, I get to hold her tight.
Today, I get to swing her high in the air and spin her as she laughs.
Tonight, I get to dance with her standing on the toes of my shoes.
Tonight, I get to lay her head down safely on her pillow after she falls asleep in my arms.
And today, tears are streaming down my face.
And, I feel like an idiot because I’m crying harder than the groom’s mother.
It’s a double-edged sword, this life that they bless.
Each day we need them more, each day they need us less.
But, she’ll always be my flower girl.
Manuel Alvear is many things – among them a Texan, a father, and a longtime journalist. If you want him, you can find him – on the viewpoints page of the Burleson Star.