It's the type of inspiration Hallmark copywriters would kill for. My best friend, the one I've known since we were eight-year-olds teetering across the balance beam in gymnastics class, is getting married. Tomorrow. There aren't many people more excited for her than I am. And nobody's more excited to walk down that aisle than she is.
Except the flower girl, of course.
Which is absolutely adorable, if she weren't my daughter. The one who's decided the world is a stage. Unlike most mothers of the flower girl, I don't worry that she'll hesitate to walk down the aisle, I'm praying she won't decide not to moonwalk down it. We're talking about a child who sings showtunes (in full voice) in the checkout line at Target. The one who, at age two, insisted on singing "The Ants Go Marching One By One" to business men from Philadelphia as they disembarked the Amtrak at Penn Station. The one my husband jokingly refers to as "The Black Ruth Buzzi" and we both swear is the next Maya Rudolph (Should she do Second City or Groundlings? Before or after college?"). I'm speaking of our resident ham, the one that makes Heavenly Ham taste like hell.
Don't get me wrong, I'm honored that J-Jo's about to be a part of my friend's special day, especially considering that the rest of the bridal party is comprised only of immediate family (and that my dear friend spared me the annoyance of buying a dress I'll wear once). But right now, I'm kinda worried that J-Jo's comedic timing might put a damper on the blessed occasion.
Of course none of this would be a problem if I knew how to give The Look.
I'm sure you've seen it before. It's the facial expression that black mothers who refuse to be publicly embarrassed are famous for. The one that with a slight arch of the brow and purse of the lip simply states: Don't even think about it. The one Claire Huxtable brought into the mainstream. Five years into this parenthood thing and I'm still waiting for my instruction manual to come in the mail.
So in the meantime, I'm going put the Claire Huxtable in me aside and remember that this wedding is much bigger than J-Jo's inner diva. I'm probably overreacting, anyway; everyone says that kids in weddings add levity to a joyful, yet tense, occasion. Maybe I should just focus on the symbolic beauty of the occasion and remember that most people can't actually manage to get hitched without hi jinx of some kind. I'm going to take a deep breath and put this whole flower chile thing into perspective because life is far too short. In a blink of an eye, a grown-up J-Jo could very well likely be walking down the aisle once more (provided Tina Fey isn't keeping her too busy at 30 Rockefeller Center).
On Friday my posts also appear as an online column for Time Out New York Kids. Visit them at Time Out New York Kids for more city-specific parenting tips and diversions. The regular column will be called Not the Nanny, which pretty much answers the crazy looks I sometimes receive when I'm out and about with my rosy-cheeked son.