Sunday, July 31, 2005

Where to begin?

The wedding, as I mentioned, was marred only by a certain 3-year-old's sudden refusal to walk down the aisle.

Sean had been with Jeff the entire day (I was with the other bridesmaids performing all that beauty-ritual and lady-in-waiting stuff), and Jeff said that he was Mr. Sunny Disposition, charming and pleasant, loving his tuxedo, when WHAM! Five minutes before the wedding, fatigue and stage fright slammed into him. I arrived at the church, calmed him down a bit, and took my place in line. Just as I was about to walk down myself, someone else approached Sean to say hello (curse her good intentions and poor insight into toddler behavior!), thereby shattering the delicate façade of composure that I had helped erect. That was pretty much the end of the game. He lay on the floor, crying, refusing even to walk with me, and I had no choice but to leave him.

That was a rather low point for me -- I envisioned the label "Uncaring, Ineffective Parent" hovering above my head as I walked down the aisle. I don't know what exactly happened next, but at some point someone took Sean outside. I was pretty miserable through about half of the ceremony. I hated to think of him so sad, and alone with someone he probably didn't know very well trying to take care of him.

I found out later that rescue came in the form of my mom and sister, who had been scheduled to arrive at the end of the ceremony with Allie. They found Sean sitting on the church steps with a family friend, tears streaming down his face. I'm so, so relieved that they came much earlier than I had expected. They were able to comfort Sean and to persuade him to re-enter the church. Even Allie, who is the embodiment of disruption wherever she goes, behaved herself in the church.

The rest of the day proceeded very smoothly. Sean and Allie left with my mom and sister after putting in an appearance at the reception -- but not before they pretty much fell asleep during the best man's toast (which, by the way, was touching and heartfelt, not that I'm biased at all). And after that, Jeff and I could just be a couple having fun at a wedding rather than parents trying to corral two very small children.

Oh, hey, did I mention the bride and groom at all? No? Boy, I am self-absorbed, aren't I? They were truly radiant, and, cliché or not, did really bask in their love for each other. Even though I teased G that the theme of the day was "Respect the Tiara," she was the furthest thing possible from Bridezilla -- calm and gracious and beautiful.

Vacation travelogue coming your way shortly . . .