for my godmother. I was told to smile with my mouth closed because I had just lost a baby tooth and had one of those interesting gaps in front. My dress - long - was lemon yellow and I had a wreath of frangipani in my hair.
So what, you say? What's so special about being flower girl? Isn't it the sort of thing all little girls dream about? No. I was not sure I wanted to be. There was plenty of other opposition to the idea as well. It meant the bride had to go down the aisle holding on to the flower girl to make sure the flower girl did not fall over. How many brides would be prepared to do that? I loved my godmother then. I love and admire her now. It was her special day and she made it special for me.
I explained all of this to a young friend (11) who has been asked to be an attendant at her godmother's wedding. Young friend came to talk to me. It is not something she has ever dreamed about doing. She is afraid she will do something wrong and spoil the big day. She is not a 'dressing up' sort of child - any more than I was.
"Look," I tell her, "You have all your front teeth. You do not have braces on your teeth. You do not have spots on your face."
None of that seems to help her very much. I think I know what the real problem is. Her mother is not going to be there. Her mother died some years ago. Her godmother has done her best but she will now be living further away. I am only and can only ever be a partial substitute. She wants someone who will hold on to her too.
I tell her I will be there.