Bruce and I attended a beautiful wedding in Julian Thursday night. D and J were married at the Pine Hills Lodge. D is in the Navy and recently returned from his first deployment to Afghanistan. It was such a lovely ceremony and reception.
The setting was a late afternoon wedding inside the Lodge and the entire room was candlelit and warm. I loved the Mason jars placed on each table and filled with flowers while smaller jars holding candles were placed everywhere around the Lodge.
Lily was the flower girl. She is three years old and the the bride, J's adorable niece. She stood quietly during the entire ceremony watching intently and smiling the entire time.
After the wedding ceremony, while everyone waited for the reception to begin, I was sitting at a table that had a large woven checkerboard and was set up with over sized checkers. I was people watching and sipping a glass of wine.
Lily approached me and asked, "Are you playing a game?"
"No" I replied, "Would you like to play?"
"Sure!" she chirped and slid into the chair across from me.
"Do you know how to play checkers?" I asked her.
"Yep! " (such confidence for a three year old) I was surprised she knew how to play, but what do I know? It's been forever since I had a three year old at home. Kids are more advanced today.
She settled into the chair and looked at the board and began turning all of her checkers over to put the crown side down. I'm thinking at this point, she really does know how to play. I'm in trouble. It's been forever since I played checkers. Is it like riding a bike? I hope so.
I let her take the first turn. She lifted a checker from the back row of her side of the board and carried it all the way over my side of the board diagonally across from one of my checkers. Uh oh.
I jumped her checker and took it. She furrowed her eyebrows into a scowl. Uh oh. But she grinned as soon as I showed her that she could do the same thing with my checker and she was lightning fast when she snatched my checker up in her little hand. Glee all the way!
Then, she kept taking my checkers, one by one. It was clear she didn't know the rules of the game as she sailed her checkers over to an open spot on my side of the board, but I couldn't risk seeing her scowl again. It was so intimidating. (It was actually very cute, but I thought intimidating was a better word for this story).
Okay, so with Lily winning, I was thinking, 'we're good'. We continued taking turns for a few more moves and I let her take a few more of my checkers.
It became clear that I was off my game and obviously was not enough of a challenging player for Lily, because she suddenly looked up at me and with a big smile said, "I'm all done here, have a great day!"
And off the chair she hopped and skipped off.
For the rest of the night, Lily kept referring to me as 'her friend 'and after dinner, came over to my table, grabbed my hand and led me out to dance with her (and three others girls she rounded up) for the song "Love Shack".