THE FIVE BIG I-CANNOT-BELIEVE-ITS OF MY LIFE SO FAR
1. That my teacher, Miss Lois, decided to call me Just Grace instead of my real name, which is Grace, without the Just part in front of it. This happened a while ago, but it still bugs me! Even just thinking about it can make me grumpy. Yesterday I drew a cartoon explaining how the whole thing happened. Sometimes drawing cartoons helps me feel better. I don’t know why it works, but it does. I’m glad about that.
2. That I finally got a real live pet, and it’s NOT a turtle or a fish! A while ago I had a big idea to make a pretend dog. I called him Chip-Up and I made him out of cardboard boxes. I took care of him like he was real, that way Mom and Dad could see how responsible I was and then they’d let me get a real dog. Chip-Up looked super good, and even though I worked really hard to take care of him, Dad did not seem like he was ever going to turn into a dog-loving person. But one day he surprised me and did. The day I got Mr. Scruffers was the best day of my entire life! A cardboard dog is okay, but a real dog is 100 percent better. And even though Mr. Scruffers is a girl dog and has a boy name, she is still amazing and perfect for me!
3. That Augustine Dupre is getting married in two weeks and I didn’t even know she had a boyfriend.
4. That Augustine Dupre is having her wedding in the middle of Mrs. Luther’s backyard. Mrs. Luther is one of my next-door neighbors, so if I wanted to, I could spy on the wedding and see the whole thing right from my bedroom window. Of course I am 100 percent invited to the wedding, so the spying part doesn’t matter, but still even just knowing that I could do it is kind of cool.
5. That I am NOT going to be the flower girl at Augustine Dupre’s wedding!
FIVE THINGS ABOUT AUGUSTINE DUPRE THAT YOU CANNOT TELL JUST BY LOOKING AT HER
1. She is a very good listener. If there is something you want to say, she can make the air around her quiet and still so the words just float out of your mouth without you even having to think about pushing them.
2. She is in love with Mrs. Luther’s cat, Crinkles. Even though Crinkles lives next door with Mrs. Luther, he spends a lot of time visiting with Augustine Dupre and sitting on her sofa.
3. She has great ideas and is a good problem solver. She can make an idea go straight from her head into your head so easily that your brain might even forget that she thought of it first.
4. She is funny and likes to make jokes.
5. She is my best grown-up friend who is not related to me.
WHAT I DID TWO SECONDS AFTER AUGUSTINE DUPRE TOLD ME SHE WAS GETTING MARRIED
I screamed. "AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" It was a long, happy scream, so Augustine Dupre was mostly surprised and not mostly scared. That was good. I couldn’t help the scream. Sometimes you can’t help but be crazy if your head is suddenly feeling combustible. The extra energy has to get out of there somehow.
WHAT HAPPENED TEN SECOND AFTER AUGUSTINE DUPRE TOLD ME SHE WAS GETTING MARRIED
My brain went through a superfast list of everything to do with a wedding: wedding dress, flowers, flower girl . . . and then it stopped. I looked up at Augustine Dupre and said, "I will be the best flower girl ever! I promise! I promise! I promise!" And then I threw my hands into the air and said it one more time, extra big for special meaning: "I PROMISE!"
WHAT IS SAD BUT TRUE
Just because you really, really, really want be a flower girl and you know you’d be perfect at it, and even if it’s probably the only time in your entire life that you’ll have the chance to be one, this does not mean that your wish of being the flower girl is going to come true. This I did not know.
HOW I FOUND OUT ABOUT NOT BEING THE FLOWER GIRL
I opened my arms to give Augustine Dupre a big I’m-so-happy-I-get-to-be-the-flower-girl hug, but instead of letting me hug her she held my hands and looked down at me with a sad face. "Oh, Grace! I’m so sorry," she said. "You can’t be the flower girl. Luke has promised being the flower girl to his little cousin. We’ll find something else for you to do. I promise! Something special." Augustine Dupre was saying lots of words, but the only ones that I was hearing over and over again were "You can’t be the flower girl. You can’t be the flower girl. You can’t be the flower girl."
It was surprising, because even though I had only been thinking I was going to be the flower girl for about two minutes, it was still super disappointing and sad to find out it wasn’t going to happen.
WHAT MY MOUTH SAID NEXT
"What’s her name? The girl who gets to be the flower girl?" I don’t know why it was important, but suddenly I wanted to know everything about her. It was 100 percent easy for me to imagine that I was not going to like her even one teeny tiny bit.
Augustine Dupre looked worried. Probably because I was wearing my unhappy face—sometimes I’m not very good at hiding it. She made a little sigh and said, "Her name is Delphine. She’s five years old and she is Luke’s only niece. I’m sure you will like her, and I know she will love you!" Augustine Dupre put her hands on my shoulders and studied my eyes like she was trying to see into my brain to know what I was thinking. It was a good thing she didn’t have those kind of powers. Sometimes the things that go on inside your head are better kept private.
WORDS CAN BE POWERFUL I don’t know why it happened, but suddenly my whole mood was different. Augustine Dupre’s words had changed me. She had changed my mad to sad. Mad is easier than sad. Sadness is not easy.