The year I turned 13 brought about many new and exciting changes. I felt like my world was finally opening, I shed the chains of elementary school and fully embraced my new life as a teenager. (All sarcasm and extreme drama intended.)
It would be a thrilling year of sleepovers with new classmates, first "real" crushes and entering the youth group, which was a watershed moment for most kids in our church. I found new self-confidence (read :: obnoxious pride) and in all my self-proclaimed maturity, I was probably more silly and immature than in years past. But, as most middle-schoolers are, I was sure I was the coolest 13 year old around and that the world was my doorstep.
But probably the most exciting thing about my 7th grade year was what happened the summer before - my brother got married!
Kevin was marrying his high school sweetheart, Trena, and I think I was as excited as they were! The summer was filled with showers and planning and I even got to search for apartments with them. But the best, most exciting part of my brother's wedding? I got to be a bridesmaid!
What 13 year old wouldn't have jumped at the chance to be in a wedding? I had never been a flower girl, a point of which caused much jealousy towards my flower-girl friends, and I loved the idea of participating in a wedding. So when my soon-to-be sister-in-law asked me, I didn't have to think twice about saying yes.
She chose hunter green bridesmaid's dresses, made of satin with "poofed" short sleeves and a bow in the back (think Laura Ashley - this was 1990). I was able to get my first pair of high heeled shoes (small pumps, really) and we had them dyed to match the dress perfectly. I practiced walking in those shoes around the house, certain I needed to get used to all the thin air my head now occupied. I'm sure I thought all eyes would be on me on their special day.
The day of the wedding came and I carried a single lily, draped ever-so-elegantly over my arm and adorned with pearls and taffeta down the aisle. I cried when my brother said his vows and dreamed of what a romantic moment like this would be for me someday. We celebrated at the reception afterwards and wished the happy couple off into newlywed bliss. It all seemed so perfect and romantic to me.
The only high that would top this one in my young life came a few years later when my first niece was born . . .
post-script: Kevin and Trena celebrate 20 years of marriage this month. Happy Anniversary, you guys! Yours was the first love story I saw first-hand and it swept me off my feet, too! Love you both!