Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Lost and Found

I forgot to blog about losing our child at the rehearsal. Since Bethany & Natalie were 2 of 6 flower girls, they had to practice lining up, walking up & down the aisle, and sitting patiently! The way the rehearsal went, they lined everyone up at the front, then walked everyone out. There was one "Lord of the Rings" aka Ring Bearer & 6 little girls. The "cute" idea was to have 3 girls walk out on each side. Of course, the problem with this is that the aisle is only so wide & it is not wide enough for 7 abroad. SO, they kind of got disconnected as they went out.

As they got ready to come back IN, someone came in & asked where Bethany was. WHAT? She went out with all of YOU! I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. I suspected she got scared & was hiding. She is 11. She is the oldest of the group. But she is autistic. Mild as it may be, she is autistic. That was a lot of people in a strange place. I did not get up to go look. I asked if Phil would go b/c I knew if she were scared and I found her, she'd not want to go down the aisle, but stay with me. However, when he couldn't find her I got up. I went up to the balcony. Someone up there working with the soundboard asked if she might be under a pew. I looked & didn't see her. Then, for a brief moment, a head full of long red hair popped up, then went back down.

I raced down the stairs (as fast as an overweight woman with bursitis & fibromyalgia can race), grabbed Katie, my niece-in-law, who was Bethany's walking partner in the wedding (each bridesmaid had a flower girl to escort), and went to find her. Between us we pulled her up. She would not show her face but pulled the hair over to hide her tears. Finally we coaxed her to get up & go out to the line. Becky, my niece, the bride, asked, "Would you rather not go first?" She had Katie & Bethany going in first. Bethany said yes, so they switched with Natalie & her partner. Even then, I had to walk down the aisle, but eventually got behind her & from the 4th row, she was able to continue with Katie.

While most the other moms had concerns about if their child would look just right, or smile at the right time, I had to wonder if my child would even walk down the aisle at the wedding. Becky told Bethany, "If you don't want to, you don't have to do it." I really didn't want B. to have that "out" but rather to know she COULD do this. On the other hand, I didn't want her creating a fiasco on the day of the wedding.

At the dinner, we had another "Bethany incident." It was late & everyone was tired and hungry. While we waited for the meal, we ate tortilla chips. If you aren't from Texas, you have to understand that when we go into a restaurant, we just assume there will be a bowl of tortilla chips and a bowl of salsa! Bethany found this tiny little chip. She made a bed for her chip, but laying it on a small plate and covering it with a napkin. Then she started crying. She wanted to keep "chippy" to take home, but she didn't think she should do that. I told her she could take it home if she wanted to. We went about eating our chips & waiting. Then, suddenly, she was crying again. I looked and Chippy was gone. I asked if she lost Chippy, to which she replied, through tears, "No. I ate it!" I just started laughing. I mean, if you want to save something, then you eat it, there is just something humorous about that. Sadly, she did not think it was funny at all. A bit later she said, "You are mean." Then a few moments later asked me, "Are you my real mother?" I assured her I was & asked why she would ask that. "Because my real mother wouldn't laugh about this." OY! What's a mom to do? We made it back to the hotel & she was fine. The next day I avoided the subject like the plague, and she only brought it up once. I did not laugh. After all, I AM her real mother.

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