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Sharon’s Blog : October 2, 2006 blog entry

Posted by Sharon O'Donnell on 2006/10/02 15:10:10

Have any of you ever had one of your young sons be in a wedding? I had that experience over the weekend when my youngest, 6-year-old Jason, was the ring bearer in my niece’s wedding. I was on pins and needles because we weren’t sure how he would behave at such a formal event. I’d told my husband and two older sons, “When he walks down that aisle, do not make eye contact with him.” This was because there is so much teasing and arguing between the guys that I was afraid any eye contact or smile from the other guys to Jason, would be interpreted by him as teasing. That means he might respond with a scowl or perhaps even a shouted insult.
Yet, I had high hopes about everything being okay because Jason was genuinely excited about being in the wedding and took his role seriously.

As it turned out, he did great, despite a few twirls of the pillow. A few times he raised the pillow with one hand toward the sky kind of like Rifiki held up Simba the lion cub when he was born. This occured during a song rather than the vows, thank goodness. The music was beautiful, and the singers’ voices were powerful. Jason later told me that he was holding up the pillow because the vibrations of the music made it shake, and he liked to watch that. He did end up dropping the pillow once, but recovered nicely. But he was quiet, stood where he was supposed to stand, and didn’t scowl.

After the ceremony, I thought we were homefree. I was so relieved! When I came out of the sanctuary to get Jason to go take part in the official wedding photos, I discovered the wedding party had somehow gone out of another door and would then be going back in the sanctuary for the photo-taking. I’d go back in there in a minute, I thought. But of course, in the meantime, all these relatives and friends that I hadn’t seen in a long time came pouring out of the sanctuary, and we all started talking, having a good ol’ reunion. I’m not sure how much time went by, but I’d say maybe ten minutes at least. Maybe 15. When I finally started toward the sanctuary, Jason came out of the doors. “Whoa, Jason,” I said. “They’re taking the wedding photos. We have to go back in.”

“He said he was done with me,” Jason said. I was a little disappointed because I’d wanted to see Jason as they took the photos.
“Really?” I asked.

Well, let’s just say never to believe a six-year-old when he tells you the wedding photographer is done with him. He wasn’t done. I had not been in the sanctuary during the early picture-taking because I was greeting all those relatives and friends. Hence, I wasn’t sure if Jason was telling the truth or not. I walked into the sanctuary to check with someone, but I didn’t want to bother the photographer in the midst of his taking photos of the happy couple and their parents and grandparents. I thought that Jason probably had been sitting with the groomsmen; surely, someone had been there with him since I hadn’t walked in with him since I wasn’t a part of the wedding party. So I rationalized if Jason left them all and nobody called him back that he was really finished with his part of the picture-taking, that maybe the photographer knew from experience to get all the kid photos done first so they could go. I asked the wedding director, who of course, was not in charge of the photography, but I thought perhaps she had been watching which photos had been taken. She evidently had not been watching, but she said if someone told Jason that, then he must be done. Which was sort of what I thought because Jason wouldn’t make up something like that. Then I heard someone say – or maybe looking back on it now, I imagined it — “Yeah, Jason’s done.”

So I told my husband I guessed Jason could go. My husband took him by the hand and led him out of the sanctuary. I like to watch wedding photos being taken so I told my oldest son, Billy, 15 (who by the way, actually wore his black suit with this stunning green shirt and green & black tie that I bought against his will) – anyway – I told Billy that I wanted to watch some of the photos being taken. So I sat down on one of the pews (which despite going to church their whole lives, my guys still call ‘bleachers’) and watched as the photographer was snapping photos of my parents with the couple. I was yelling out things from the back, like “Smile, Daddy!” I wanted to stay and watch some more, but of course, my boys were chomping at the bit to hurry and go to the reception. Nobody noticed that Jason was gone or was calling for him to come back in, and it seemed that in the weddings I’d been in that they took the whole wedding party photos first before moving to the grandparents, etc.. So I felt like yes, Jason must be done with the photos. Even though I wanted to stay and watch some more, I knew Jason was tired and hungry (even though he’d had some Bagel Bites), and wanted to go. I think I was so relieved that he’d behaved in the wedding ceremony that I was a bit giddy and not thinking too clearly myself at this point. So we left.

We got to the reception, and a little while later, my nephew — Kristin’s brother –who had been in the wedding, came in, saw me, and asked where Jason had been, that they needed him for the photos and nobody knew where he was. My heart climbed into my throat. Wonderful, just wonderful. Now my niece, Kristin, wouldn’t have a photo of her entire wedding party because we left early. I felt really bad, though later when I talked to my niece she seemed to be okay with it. We got some photos at the reception, but still it wasn’t the same. I do think he might wind up being in some that the photographer took prior to the wedding when the groomsmen were getting ready.

I still can’t believe I did something so dumb. Jason still claims that someone took a picture of him and the flower girl together and then evidently said he was done with them, BUT this man was not the official photographer. Yet to Jason, a camera is a camera and he thought that was the extent of taking wedding photos. I must now find out who this man was so I can hopefully get a copy of that photo of Jason and the little girl.

Oh well. Such is life. Of course, my husband, being a guy, acted like Jason missing the photos wasn’t a big deal. Nothing ever is to them, is it?
But the wedding was very moving, the music was so good it was actually entertaining, the families got along well, the groom looked handsome and happy, the bride was absolutely gorgeous and ecstatic – so everything turned out fantastic.
My boys had never been to a wedding before so it was interesting to see their reaction to the whole event. David, my 12-year-old, once said something about ‘one of those girls in orange dresses’ and I told him “They’re called bridesmaids, sweetheart.” And it was coral, not orange.
One of the songs my niece selected to have sung that day was a song that I’d selected to have sung at my wedding 18 years earlier. It’s called “This is the Day” (This is the day that the Lord Hath made, and I’m so glad he made you . . . to have you, to hold you, etc.) Really pretty song. It felt strange and sort of bittersweet to hear it again, and I could recall those days of listening to it over and over before my own wedding.
Of course, my husband Kevin, had no recollection of it at all until I nudged him during the song and said, “We had that sung at our wedding.” He looked confused for a moment, and then a vague hint of recognition came into his eyes as he listened. “Oh yeah,” he replied.

My niece is the only granddaughter my parents have amongst eight grandchildren so this wedding was very special. Kristin has always been our family’s little girl’. She was beautiful in that wedding dress, and it was an emotional moment for all of us when her dad gave her away. And as a mom of all boys, I savored it all, this wedding of our little girl.



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