There we were, in a gorgeous outdoor setting in October a few years ago. It was the day of our daughter Heather’s wedding to Clyde, and the family social event of the year. One by one the bridesmaids processed, followed by Jennifer, sister of the bride and the matron of honor. (I should note here that Jenn said she’d rather not be considered “matronly.” She much prefers the title “Bridal Babe.”) Three pairs of children were all that were left before Jerry and Heather made the grand entrance. First came the two oldest, carrying a basket of rose petals to distribute to the people sitting on the aisles. Then came the next two. From my vantage point as the minister, I could see the broad smiles on every adult there. Next, we waited for Bridget and Wynston (our grandson), both age 3, the last to come in before the bride and her dad. And we waited. Finally, Bridget came running down the aisle, waving her flowers over her head. No Wynston. We waited a little longer. The music continued to play. Still no Wynston. He stayed behind with the wedding coordinator, crying big tears because he just couldn’t make himself walk down the aisle in front of all those people. Finally, able to wait no longer, Heather and Jerry appeared and began their walk down the aisle, a somewhat teary event for all of us.
After the service, Heather and Clyde hosted the reception, and there Wynston reappeared, none the worse for his lonely wedding experience. Whatever shyness prevented his participation in the service quickly left when the music started. Apparently it awakened in him a usually dormant boogie side. He shed shoes, socks, and tuxedo jacket and got his groove back on the dance floor, with disco moves the BeeGees would have been proud of.
Every year when the calendar turns over to January, for some inexplicable reason I remember Wynston’s transformation at that wedding reception. I think of how quickly that three-year-old was able to let something bad in the past remain in the past, and he leapt into the present with great enthusiasm.
Though 2009 has been a great year in many ways for many people, for others it has been tough, even tragic. None of us, to be sure, has had a perfect year. Some traumatic events are too big to slough off, and I do not mean to minimize those. On the other hand, we sometimes let the smaller difficulties overwhelm us and we have trouble letting go of them.
So, as I reflect on this year past, and all its events both good and bad, and I look forward to 2010, I want to be more like Wynston. Let’s put the minor bad stuff behind us quickly, kick off our shoes, and dance into the New Year.
May your New Year be full of hope and peace. And lots of dancing.
© Melissa Bane Sevier, 2010