To me, weddings are synonymous with tears, or what our family calls, "happy crying". We happy cry a lot around here - through the finale of "Beauty and the Beast", every time Sara Groves sings "Small Piece of You" and throughout the "Amazing Race" as contestants overcome trials.
I've known for a while that Norah is a happy crier, but another one joined the club this weekend.
There were the expected teary eyes during the wedding:
... as the organ began the triumphant fanfare and all heads swiveled to catch a glimpse of the Bride,
(first tears escaped)
... in response to the Father of the Bride escorting his little girl down the aisle and when he handed her off to the Groom,
... when the congregation sang together, "Brother, Let Me Be Your Servant",
... as the Bride and Groom exchanged vows,
(sniff and dab the eyes)
... and as the recently hitched couple walked arm-in-arm up the aisle.
(dabbing and smiling, simultaneously)
As the wedding party arrived back in the parlor, doors swinging closed behind us and bridesmaids casting off their pointy-toed shoes, cheerful hugs were exchanged. Relief and happiness flooded the faces of the Bride and Groom and the rest of us relaxed, knowing that the "work" was over.
It was then that I felt little hands desperately clutching my dress. Turning my head, I found my Ashley with her face buried in the folds of my skirt, sobbing. Bending down, I ran my head over her hair and asked, "Is this happy crying?" Still nestled in my dress, she nodded and sniffled, in response.
Being a happy crier myself, I knew that the only thing to do was to let her go ahead and have a good cry, even if my dress suffered the consequences. A few minutes passed and she peeked out from the purple fabric. We dried her tears, she managed a chin-trembling smile and then she was off, laughing and giggling with her cousins again.
Happy tears ... the way our tender hearts stay tender. And why we always have a tissue in our pocket.