Leah had, I don't know, about sixteen bridal showers before her wedding, none of which I was able to attend. Leah's cousin Ashley and friend Shay (flower girl Tinsley's mama) were hosting a lingerie shower the Monday before the wedding, so I finally got to go to one. We had Alex with us and thought that he might enjoy hanging out with the girls. But it only took about five minutes before he discovered the dish of Hershey's kisses and started taste-testing each of the pigs-in-a-blanket that Ashley had made, so we called Poppa to come get him and take him home. Once he had left, the party started, and I got roped into a fun game of "Who can get pantyhose on the quickest while blindfolded?" Leah and I lost to Michele, who claimed that we were too young to remember the days when pantyhose was a requirement, whereas she spent every Sunday morning as a girl manipulating hosiery up and down her legs.
As I mentioned in previous posts, we spent the week draping the gym, running errands, decorating, etc., and by the time the rehearsal rolled around on Friday evening, we were almost kind of close to being almost done. Kind of. Timothy got in from Dallas the night before, and my mom and dad got to town around noon that day, although I was completely unaware that they had arrived because I was ears-high in fabric at the gym and didn't hear my phone ring when they called to say they had made it. It was great to have them there for various reasons, including the fact that they could watch Alex while we tied about a million loose ends in those last two days.
The rehearsal started at 6, and since we wanted Alex to do a trial run as the ringbearer, he and mom and dad tagged along to the church. Neither Alex nor Tinsley were in the mood to walk the aisle like they were supposed to, so Rachel and Rebekah ended up carrying them. We considered keeping the kids on the stage while Leah came down the aisle, but, being curious toddlers with better things to do, they squealed and squirmed until we let them go about their business. We promptly decided that the kids would be ushered to the back of the church just as soon as they had made it to the front.
We had several theories about what A might do when his big moment arrived. The first theory was that he would be completely confused about what he was supposed to do and would take off to the back or the side of the church instead of towards the front. Then again, he is kind of a show-off. With an entire church full of people staring at him, he might make it halfway down the aisle and start dancing, or perhaps he would spy someone he recognized in the audience and stop to have a conversation. The third and most dreaded theory was that he would refuse to participate altogether, that he wouldn't go down the aisle himself, and when carried, he would kick and writhe and squeal his way to the front. I tried to comfort myself with the thought that Leah was unconcerned about the outcome, and besides, the kids are fifteen and eighteen months old. One can only expect so much. But I was still a little anxious about what he would do, and tried to put it out of my mind since I couldn't do anything about it anyway.
We finished rehearsing and headed downstairs to the Fellowship Hall to eat dinner. I sent Alex home with Granny and Grampa B so he could get a good night's sleep before the Big Day. Dinner was catered by Abe's, who delivered a delicious feast of deep-fried fattiness that all but guaranteed that my bridesmaid dress wouldn't zip. It's bad enough that Leah planned her wedding immediately after the food-filled holidays, and now she was tempting me with boatloads of tasty salt and grease the night before the wedding. Throw a girl a bone, wouldya? Preferably one that's not embedded inside a piece of fried chicken.
The food was delicious, and it was exciting to meet and/or greet the rest of the wedding party, many of whom I hadn't met before that night. We soaked in the last few minutes of relaxation, then went right back to work putting the finishing touches on the gym and church. We were pretty much on time according to our self-imposed schedule, but we were starting to feel the pressure. One day to go!