This weekend, the 5 of us made our way to the wonderful occasion of my cousin’s wedding. Cousin J was marrying Lovely L – after many years of my family joking about how he would ever find a good match. Well, he sure did. Cousin J is an odd duck (aren’t we all, really) – he is a bit eccentric, very kind-hearted and generous of spirit, and has an amazing sense of humour. We are 6 months apart in age and he is my closest cousin. We have had many, many times together – both good and bad, but ALWAYS humorous. So I was very excited for us to be a part of his day.

Well, it was a lovely wedding and everyone was very happy about the evening. I, however, was reminded of a few things.

Anticipation

I LOVE getting my family dressed up. Yes, I am that mother that actually enjoys planning the children’s outfits and thinking about how coordinated and cute they will be. They generally oblige because Micah would be happy if I picked out his clothes all the time – he just doesn’t care, Ariel loves to get all dressed up, and Kirby is just too young to fight about clothes. So in the days leading up to an event, I enjoy the anticipation.

Preparation

I am a planner, to the extreme. I once called my dad to ask what he was doing in 4 years because I thought we should start planning a trip to the Olympics to volunteer as doctors. I do not feel secure if I do not have a plan. This causes some conflict with Tim because he would prefer to plan only what is going to happen in the next 6 – 12 minutes (his words). Tim’s family shares this preference and every year I am in a state of anxiety as summer approaches because no one has confirmed their summer visiting plans. Tim, on the other hand, happily goes about life pondering why I care? I mean, we are going to be here, right? OK, I digress in this matter. On the day of the Family Event, I wake up planning out the day, figuring naps, food, and how long it will take everyone to get ready. Then I start the countdown. When inevitably, people refuse to go along on my timeline (like my dad getting in the shower at 3:45pm – precisely the time I told him we were going to leave) I start to get stressed, and…maybe a little cranky. I have been working o this, but it is a work in progress

The Event

We arrive at the event, the children get lots of attention because they do always turn out looking great. And for a few minutes, I am proud mother – proud of my well-behaved, beautiful brood. But then sibling antics set in as do, 20-month-old tendencies, and maybe some 4 and almost-7 year old impatience. So then we try to rein it in. Tim and I divide and conquer. One of us always has to be on K as he is a full-time job. He manages to be everywhere at once: climbing, crawling, escaping. The other two then start craving attention and there is only one parent for the 2 of them. Yesterday, K managed to both throw a rock AND kick my cousins elderly aunt from the other side of his family – this was accomplished by K under full supervision of one of his parents. Fantastic. A pulled her usual stunt of wanting “her own seat” exactly where she wants it, which is never in a spot that is considerate of others. Even M got in on the action by taking the camera and manage to be as intrusive as possible while his parents tried to discreetly whisper to get him back with us. This kind of stuff just went on all night.

This meant that Tim and I didn’t really talk to anyone or visit with family or take in the event. We were so busy trying to make sure that kids didn’t disturb anyone or get hurt themselves. The children did have a wonderful time though

Reflection

SO why did we take them? Well…it was a family wedding. And they are my family. And they (and I) do love getting dressed up in “fancy” clothes and going out. They did have a wonderful time for the most part. But it was an adult event – there were only 2 other children there and the timing of everything was not at all conducive to children’s presence. We never considered not bringing them. But I realized that they probably would have had more fun at home having a movie night with their favourite babysitter. And then I could have spent some quality time with my 89 year old granny and the cousins and aunts that I never see and may not see again unless my other cousin has a wedding sometime soon!

Also, often I wonder if I don’t take my children out enough: they don’t really seem to know how to behave in public! Ack! What am I doing wrong? I don’t know. Maybe I am over thinking (and overwriting) this issue.

But mostly, I think I am envious of cultures where children are included in everything and everyone is happy to have them present. Sometimes I think we are missing the boat with all of our ‘adult oriented’ celebrations, even though I definitely enjoy that type of event. Anyway, it was a beautiful wedding and I am so pleased for my cousin and our family to have Lovely L join us. I am so glad we went.

Now to decide who gets to travel to the next family wedding in Miami!

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