In one week's time, my little one in the middle will be getting married. She has been the sparkle in my days, the hug around my neck, for almost 25 years. A sprite of a girl, I will always see her with her side-pony-tail, bouncing off the school bus and running into my arms. She will forever in my mind's eye, be six years old with a glint in her eye and a few cherished Nerds stuck to her palm. Sometimes, even now, I will be talking to her when it suddenly hits me that that I am sitting with a beautiful, fully-grown woman. Oh but she is still so full of light, still such a pleasure to be around.
Today, I was looking through my box of broken bits, you know those catch- alls where we keep stray earrings and rhinestones, and broken chains? I needed an AB crystal for the snap closure on a vintage purse I picked up for her wedding. Of course I had one crystal, just the right size; I have been putting oddities in this box for 35 years. But I also found this.
It was a little pipe-cleaner tiara that I made for this very bride- to- be, 23 years ago for her first trick-or-treat outing. We were all fairies then, her older sister, and me too, wearing wings with my wedding dress. Oh those days were spectacularly easy, blissful.
When I held the little tiara in my hand, tenderly turning it over, I saw that it still had her baby hair caught in it. White-blond, fine, eternally baby hair. Of course then I wept, what else was there to do? My baby bird is flying the nest. And even though it is into the arms of a kind and giving man, I will miss these "everydays" with her more than I can say. Her little sister will miss her too. The earth will shift on its axis, just a tiny bit next Saturday, indiscernible for the the rest of the world, but I will know as I stand and watch her take her vows at water's edge, that my life will never quite be the same. But I'll smile bravely and lift my champagne glass with everyone else.