Well, actually, this time, it was more. The Impling came along. We sat together in the pews across the aisle from the organist, and she watched his feet and fingers fly over the consoles and stared over the back of the pew at the towering pipes in the balcony. She whispered to me:
“The music is coming fwom the pipes!”
She stared as the bride walked down the aisle, and twisted in my father's arms to watch as she passed by. A few moments passed, a woman soprano who was channeling Enya sang a solo, and the bible readings began. The Impling looked around with rapidly evaporating interest, knelt on the pew beside me, and whispered in my ear “wanna go outside!”
My cute little heathen.
Luckily, I'd prepared for this by sitting in a spot with a quick escape route. And truth be told, I wanted to go outside too. So we made our quiet escape and the Impling ran around the parking lot in the late afternoon sun. We went back in for a bit, then back outside again, in and out, and in the meantime gazed at the stained glass windows, the bell tower, the statues, dipped fingers in the baptismal fonts, used the yellow parking lines as a balance beam. All in all, I'd say we did all right. We made it through the wedding without mishap.
The really great moments came later, at the reception. The Impling, I discovered, does NOT like loud noises. This includes clapping, cheering, and above all, the microphone. So when the priest's voice bellowed over the sound system:
“and now, we will bless the meal!” in the dead silence that followed, an ear splitting:
the Impling's distressed cry echoed through the ballroom.
The prayer began, despite my daughter's single handed attempt at a humanistic version of exorcism, and I buried my shaking laughter in the Impling's neck as she glommed on to me and cried out:
“NO! No more clapping!” The eyes of the surrounding tables on me. I felt a fierce, primal protectiveness. Suffer. A little rejection is good for the ego. Brings you down to earth.
How much do I love my daughter? I thought there was no way I could love her more than I did that moment. Over the next moments, the Impling learned how to hold her hands over her ears if she needed to.
Interestingly enough, once we made it through dinner and my aunt's unstoppable criticism of the food (she sent back her steak saying it was inedible, then poked at her chicken, which was to dry, and polished off her flaming cherries jubilee, which was too sweet), and the music started, suddenly, the noise didn't matter so much.