By TINA ANDERSON
Illustrations By CAROLINE WALKER of The Art Mill
Samantha was as adorable as any five-year-old girl could be. When she danced and sang, everyone applauded. When she recited her favorite nursery rhymes, the whole house listened. When she drew or painted a picture, everyone admired it. Still, her favorite thing to do was to put on her fanciest dress and pretend to be a flower girl.
When she played wedding with her friends the other girls thought being the bride was the best, but what they didn’t understand was the importance of a flower girl.
In the wedding, the flower girl has the most important job. She walks down the aisle just before the bride decorating it with flowers along the way. As she told her friends, without the flower girl, the bride would not have flowers to walk on; and as everyone knows you have to walk on flowers to get married.
One of the most exciting days she could remember was when her mother took her to pick out a basket of her very own. It was white with curly pink ribbons and bows. The moment they arrived home Samantha ran around the yard filling her basket with flowers. She put on her fanciest dress and had everyone gather on the porch to watch her walk down the sidewalk, dropping the flowers as she went. They all agreed that the sidewalk was prettier than ever.
Then the most incredible thing happened one Sunday afternoon when her favorite Uncle Matt and his fiancée Beth came over for lunch. Samantha’s bright smile lit up the entire room as she danced around. “I’m finally going to be a real flower girl!” she squealed in delight, and threw her arms around her Uncle Matt’s neck giving him her best hug ever. “I have a fancy dress and my own basket, so I’m ready,” she exclaimed as she bounced over to Beth. “I’m sure you do,” Beth smiled. “I was thinking though, what if we let you get and even fancier dress and another new basket? Would you like that?” Samantha’s brown curls bounced up and down as she clapped and cheered for the idea.
The weeks leading up to the wedding were very exciting. Samantha got to help pick out Beth’s wedding dress, which she knew was even more beautiful than Cinderella’s. When they picked out her dress she got to try on many different ones. She tried on dresses with flowers, dresses with ruffles, and one dress that even had sparkles. All the dresses made her feel like a princess. When Beth held up two of the prettiest dresses and let Samantha choose, everyone laughed in delight while she danced around the room holding the dress with tiny sparkles in front of her.
Samantha thought the shower was one of the best things she had ever attended. There were gifts of every shape and size with beautiful paper and bows. When she got to help unwrap a few, her delight captured everyone’s attention. She told mom, “Maybe I should get married, they’re getting more presents than at Christmas!” Mom said that maybe she should wait a little longer. Samantha guessed she was right. Maybe she should at least wait until she finished Kindergarten.
Finally, it was the night before the wedding and time for the rehearsal. Although Samantha had been practicing every day, she thought maybe the others had not. She also guessed it was a good idea to know just where to stand after she was finished with the flowers. The dinner they had afterwards was fancy with everything so sparkling and shining that she asked her mom if they were at a castle. Her mom laughed “No, but it does look pretty” she responded.
The next day Samantha knew she was turning into a real princess. She had her nails painted, her hair fixed and her mother even let her wear some lip gloss. Once she put on her dress, she knew you must be part princess to be a real flower girl. As she watched everyone hurry around getting ready, her mother asked if she would like to go see Uncle Matt before the wedding. Samantha grabbed her mother’s hand and skipped out of the room.
On the way though, she hesitated watching the numerous people coming to the wedding. Samantha’s mother urged her along. “Are you okay, princess?” Uncle Matt picked her up. “My tummy doesn’t feel so good.” She rubbed her stomach. “There are a lot of people here.” He gave her a hug, “You know what, me too. I’m a little nervous just like you.” Her blue eyes widened, “Really?” He nodded, “Yea, but how about I make you a deal. I’ll be up front waiting for you when you walk down the aisle. So, you just look at me and pretend it’s last night when we were practicing and the pews were empty. Do you think you can do that?” She gave Uncle Matt a big hug then smiled at him, “Okay. I really like Beth and I do want you to get married. Everyone knows a bride can’t get married unless she walks on flowers.” Matt and her mother laughed to themselves as he sat her down.
Samantha and her mother rejoined the rest of the wedding party. Samantha squeezed her mother’s hand tightly as they walked, still nervous. Beth smiled kneeling down. “You are so lovely in your dress, I know you’re going to do a great job.” Samantha hugged her, “I’ll put all the flowers down so you can get married. I’m glad you’re going to be my aunt.” As the music began one by one the bridesmaids walked down the aisle. Samantha again felt nervous. When the woman in charge said it was her turn, she slowly stepped to the door and Uncle Matt was right. She could see him, smiling at her. As she dropped the petals she kept her eyes on Uncle Matt all the way to the front. “I made it!” she whispered loudly to him. His smile widened and he gave her a low thumbs-up.
She watched Beth walk down the aisle, stepping on the petals she had dropped. The pride she felt at the job she had done shown in her smile. It made her face sparkle as much as her dress. She had always known what an important job being a flower girl was. Now Beth could marry her Uncle Matt. She had walked on flowers.
Tina Anderson can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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