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As Time Goes Bye

Looking at my 11-year-old daughter in the bridal boutique that Friday evening, it was hard for a dad to process. The little girl I had held in my arms was wearing a small heel and open-toe shoes and a junior bridesmaid dress with straps and starting to look a little grown up.

A little too grown up.

But only the General Assembly at the end of a legislative session can stop the hands of time and, though I'm not ready for it (sigh), I know what surely is coming. Every dad of a daughter knows.

The clerk must have noticed the unconcealed look on my face. She joked that it wouldn't be too long before we'd be back for a white dress.

Stop laughing. It's not funny.

Seriously-well, at least not for me.

Less than a week later three of us would be at my niece's wedding in Virginia Beach. I was reminded how quickly things change seeing her all grown up. It was only a camera flash ago that I first met the three-year-old when she and her mom visited Farmville.

Vibrant, bright brown eyes and short, curly brown hair-she was absolutely adorable bounding around the hotel room playing with her aunt and uncle.

In another wink of time, she was pretty in pink walking down the aisle when the wife and I married, dutifully performing the responsibilities of a flower girl.

That was 1991.

And now she has finished high school, college, law school, and was walking down the aisle for her own wedding about to start a new life with her husband. What happened? It's as if the record needle of time has skipped a whole song.

I can only imagine what her parents feel.

The wedding was a whirlwind of events, but I have treasured snapshots of memory, from the beautiful, but not extravagant dress she wore, to the loving way her husband-to-be looked into her beaming eyes as they stood before the church.

There was her center aisle walk with her dad in arm as the pipe organ bellowed Here Comes The Bride.

And my daughter in that lapis-colored dress, her golden locks in a bun atop her head looking still more grown up than just the week before in the bridal boutique, seated off to the side.

Then there was seeing my niece dance with her dad at the reception and her 80-year-old grandfather, the retired Air Force Lt. Colonel. And, of course, just experiencing the many other wedding and reception rituals.

A happy day and one surely filled with a swirl of emotion.

When two become one.

When separate families formally become in-laws, bonded by the love of a couple and sealed with a kiss at an alter.

It has been the summer of weddings for the wife, daughter and me. We looked on in June as one of our former Sunday school students, now a young man, wed in a country church in Green Bay. In August, we plan to go to Williamsburg to attend that of another young lady who grew up before our eyes.

A time for joy, celebrating commitment and happiness.
<br />I'm happy for them, but as I remember them as children, I'm feeling a bit old at the same time.