Monday, May 18, 2009

A Wedding Conversation

Today, Mary and I were sitting on the patio, enjoying the sun and watching the birds. We were talking about this and that, when the subject of marriage came up. Well, I guess it was really weddings we were discussing--hers in particular.

There is a young man at Mary's school that she has claimed as her own. She was in the same class with this little boy last year and declared him her "sweetie boy." She told her daddy that he used to be her "sweetie boy" but he had been replaced. This was news that Patrick was not prepared for. He expected to be replaced someday, but not when his daughter was three.

Mary has never wavered in her affection for this young man. When I asked her what it was about him that she liked, she said, "he's just my sweetie boy and he wants to marry me someday." They aren't in the same class this year, but she still claims him. "E. is my sweetie boy," she'll say when asked. She gets a little abashed when she sees him. She waves shyly. Sometimes he waves back, sometimes he pretends not to see her. Ahhh love....The games begin young.

So today I was curious about her thinking on marriage and weddings. Her idea of marriage is simple; after the wedding you go back to the house that the man has picked out. Her idea of weddings was a little more involved. (Unfortunately, I see this thinking in couples much older than my 4 year old. There is a whole lot of planning involved in the wedding, but not much thought given to the actual marriage. No wonder the divorce rate is so high...) When I asked her last year what happens at a wedding, she told me the mommies drive the boy and girl to the wedding, the pastor says the "marry words" and then the mommies drive the boy and girl back home. Her daddy was hoping her view on that would never change. But after today's conversation, I can see that it has evolved a bit.

When I asked her what would happen at her wedding, she said, "Well, I wear a beautiful white dress and I walk into the room with the music."

"What about E.?" I asked. "What's he wearing?"

"A tussedo," she lisped.

"Then what happens?" I wondered.

"The pastor says the marry words. Then he says 'KISS!' and you kiss. Then you have cake," she responded.

"Oh! So you get cake after you get married?"

She nodded.

"Anything else?" I queried.

"Oh! You get ice cream! And Sprite and root beer. And you play games," she told me.

I raised my eyebrows. We didn't have any games at my wedding. Hers was sounding kinda fun. I wanted to know more.

"What else?" I asked.

"Well, you play Pin the Tail on the Donkey and checkers," she replied in all seriousness.

It took every ounce of self-control I could muster to keep from laughing. This wedding was starting to sound like a birthday party. Which makes sense, since that's the only kind of party she knows. She has yet to go to a wedding so she has no frame of reference. Still. I was kind of diggin' it.

"Then what do you do?" I quizzed.

She looked at me with a puzzled expression on her face. "You go home!" she replied in a tone of voice that sounded a lot like "duh!"

"You go home with me?" I wondered.

"No. You go to our house with Daddy and Maggie and James and Sean and Tilly. I go to the house that E. picked out."

"Ahhh," I said. "It sounds fun. I think I'll like going to your wedding."

"It will be the best wedding ever!" Mary said.

"How old will you be when you get married?" I asked.

"Ummmm....I'm not sure. How old are you?"

"You're going to be 41 when you get married?" I asked. "I was younger than that when I got married. I was 23."

"Oh. That sounds good. I'll be 23," she said.

Then she informed me that she was going to have 6 children--3 boys, 3 girls--named Charles, Bethel (after Bethlehem), Patrick, Lisa, Carol and Flower.

And that was where my self-control flew out the window and I lost it. After I stopped laughing, I hugged her and told her that she would always be my little girl, even when she was big enough to get married and have children.

I also might have asked her to reconsider the name choices for my future grandchildren.

***Oops! Almost forgot to add that comments are still broken. Please feel free to comment or contact me via email. I love to hear your comments! Thanks.

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