From the Tim McGraw song “My Little Girl”

Gotta hold on easy as I let you go.
Gonna tell you how much I love you, though you think you already know.

    Louise stood in Rachel’s living room staring in the full-length mirror before her. She couldn’t believe how beautiful her wedding dress had turned out. The seamstress in Seneca was very talented and Louise was glad she’d decided to get her dress made there. Lou was brought out of her thoughts by a light tap on the front door window.

    “Come in!” she called. Assuming it would be Rachel to tell her that it was time to go to the church, she didn’t turn around.

    “You look beautiful Darlin’.”

    In the mirror Lou could see Teaspoon standing behind her. “Thank you. Is it almost time?”

    He nodded. “Almost. Noah’s bringing the buckboard around for you here in a bit. I just wanted to talk to you before…” clearing his throat, “before you go and get yourself hitched.” He gestured towards the church with one hand. “Here, set down with me for a minute.” He led her to the sofa.

    Holding her hands in his he began to speak. “Louise, I know your Pa wasn’t good to you while he was around. But, when he left and yer Ma passed on and you had to bring yourself up, you done good despite that. So, I don’t claim to be completely responsible fer how ya turned out. Fact is when you and the boys signed on with the Express I didn’t plan on gettin’ so attached to ya all like I did. And when I found out about you being Louise I felt a special attachment to ya. I always thought of the boys as my sons, but, well, havin’ a daughter is different. It’s a very special bond.”

    Louise smiled. She’d always considered Teaspoon to be like a father to her. But she never knew he felt so strongly about her. It meant a lot to her to know he cared for her so much.

Beautiful baby from the outside in.
Chase your dreams but always know the road that'll lead you home again.

    “Louise, you’ve always been a spirited girl. If there was ever anything you wanted to do, you went and did it. If you needed or wanted something, you got it. I know you’re a grown woman now, and you and the Kid got dreams of your own. You two are gonna chase those dreams too because that’s the kind of people you are. But I just want you to know that you can always count on me if you ever need anything. You can always come to me, no matter what.”

Teaspoon reached up and wiped the tear off his cheek. This was turning out to be harder than he thought it would. He looked up from his hands to Lou’s face. The girl, no, the woman, he corrected his self, had tears in her eyes as well.

Someday, some boy will come and ask me for your hand.
But I won't say "yes" to him unless I know, he's the half
that makes you whole, he has a poet's soul, and the heart of a man's man.
I know he'll say that he's in love.
But between you and me. He won't be good enough!

“I don’t know if Kid ever told you this, but before he proposed to you, he came to me first. He said that he was raised that you always ask a girl’s Pa for her hand, before you ask her. Well, he figured since you didn’t have no Pa of yer own, that I was the one he should ask.”

Louise smiled. She should have known Kid would do something like that.

“He told me how much he loves you, and how he’s going to provide for you and take care of you. He didn’t have to tell me all that. I already knew how much he loves you, and I’ve never known Kid not to care for the ones he loves. Of course, I don’t suppose it would have mattered much if I’d told him no, but I didn’t. I told him that I was proud to give my blessing to you two, and I was. I’m happy for you two. But, it was still a little hard. I know that you two are meant to be together, if you’re not I don’t know who is. But in a way I don’t feel like he’s good enough. I don’t know that anyone ever will be good enough for ya Lou.”

Go on, take on this whole world.
But to me you know you'll always be, my little girl.

    Teaspoon knew if he stayed any longer or said much else he and Louise would be crying like babies, so he tried to finish up with as much self-control as he could.
    “So, anyway, I just wanted to let you know that you may become Kid’s wife today, and maybe later on you’ll be a Mama too. But, Louise, I’m always going to think of you as my little girl.”

    Lou smiled and wiped away the tears from her cheeks. She reached across to hug the older man’s neck. “You don’t know what that means to me.”

    After a little bit of hugging Teaspoon stood “Well, I’m gonna go now and check on the Kid. He’s probably pacing holes in the church floor. Noah should be around with the buckboard just any minute now.”

    Lou returned to look in the mirror once more. Teaspoon opened the door, and paused looking back at her. “Um…” he cleared his throat “I, I uh, I love you Louise.”

    Smiling she turned to reply, “Love you more.”

    Without responding Teaspoon closed the door behind him and stood on the front porch of Rachel’s home. “Yep.” He smiled. “That’s my little girl."

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