A wedding present
Saturday September 27th 2008, 7:30 pm
Filed under: Family,Life

hummingbird Peruvian fingerpuppetWe were at the Mormon Temple in Oakland this morning, and as we stepped out the door, there was a wedding party gathering in the garden with parents shepherding their little ones forward for the family photos.  We passed a young dad with an adorable toddler, I’d say two years old if that, in a stroller.  She was perfectly well-behaved, but such events have a tendency to require little ones to be perfectly well-behaved for a bit longer than the child is made for; I reached into my purse and gave the dad a smile and a back-up plan.  He was blown away and then delighted.

You all have heard of the handknitted finger puppets from Peru before.

The grounds are built into the Oakland hillside, and there were steps going up from one section of flowers to the next; it’s perfectly designed for people to line up in rows and be seen by the camera, surrounded by gorgeousness, which is what those two families were doing.

And oh did it bring back memories.

Four years ago, when our oldest got married there and we took family photos in the same spot, our new son-in-law had a toddler niece with Down’s syndrome.  And clearly and cheerfully, strong ideas of her own.  Her mother tried really hard to hold her still for the pictures.  The photographer got our two families scrunched in together, okay you, step forward a bit, you, you, go here, you, lean a bit to the right, right there, okay, got it, SMILE!

At that the niece, who was a good size for her age, broke clean away from her mommy and ran straight to the photographer, arms outstretched, and launched into him with a bowl-him-over bear hug.  He had smiled at her! He loved her!  YAY!!!

He thought it was great, and hugged her back with a chuckle and scooted her back towards her mom.

Her mother was flustered that her daughter had ruined the picture, but no, no, not at all: she had perfected it. She had captured exactly what the whole day had been about to the two families coming together:  I do not know you well yet. But you are part of my family and therefore part of me as of this day, and we are going to celebrate!  That little girl had it exactly right.  She knew joy when she saw it.

And I thought of her as the happy groom and his beautiful bride in her long white dress swished past us on their way.  Whoever they were.  I reached blindly into the bottom of my purse, my fingers closing on what turned out to be one of the most colorful, bright fingerpuppet birds you could ask for, and I gave it to that young dad today.

I wanted that couple’s day to be a celebration of joy like that, too.

As we got in our car, I saw a very small arm waving her hummingbird hi, high in the air, at the happy couple her daddy was taking her towards.

11 Comments so far
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Captain Kangaroo with all the goodies in his pockets had nothin’ on your purse! Way to go!

Comment by Barbara-Kay 09.27.08 @ 9:29 pm

Hee, reading Barbara-Kay’s comment… mercy I did love me Capt’n and Mr. Greenjeans…
This post? Sweeeet.

Comment by marianne 09.28.08 @ 5:19 am

How! Much! Fun! was that. Please email me the contact information for that knitter in Peru. We have a tiny ward here with seven or eight Primary children. And then there are my Bitties. And all the folks I see on the train who need a bit of cheering up. Thanks!

Comment by Lynn 09.28.08 @ 6:12 am

I need some of those for my little ones in nursery. A year ago, I “adopted” one little one who was giving her mom a hard time in meetings and now she is definitely “mine”. I bribed her with toys and treats and now she knows that my Sunday bag is for her to get into, after Sacrament.

Comment by sherry in idaho 09.28.08 @ 7:33 am

I used to buy them online en masse directly from Peru, but that particular site disappeared; now I go to Ebay, usually Sanyorksales.

Comment by AlisonH 09.28.08 @ 8:49 am


Comment by Diana Troldahl 09.28.08 @ 8:05 pm

What a great story, and what a true picture of what weddings and families are supposed to be all about — generations of people coming together 🙂

Comment by Jocelyn 09.28.08 @ 8:38 pm

You share the best stories… Sweet!

Comment by Channon 09.29.08 @ 5:23 am

A bird! It has to be the best one. Yes, you’ve the best purse around. 😉

Comment by Toni Smoky-Mountains 09.29.08 @ 8:14 am

Okay, that was one of the sweetest story’s ever! How kind of you. I am sure knotting one of those takes patience.

Comment by Bonnie 09.29.08 @ 3:23 pm

The finger puppet is beautiful. I’ve been wanting to make some of those with leftover yarn for my little grandson. I bet you made that child’s day!

Comment by Joansie 09.30.08 @ 5:23 am

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