Our three biggest were in a wedding a couple of weeks ago.
I had the cool opportunity to see the mother-of-the-bride a week before the wedding, the day before the wedding, the morning of the wedding, obviously AT the wedding, and the day after the wedding. I know she was flooded with details. I know, for a fact, that not every single one of those details went the way she planned. But I'll tell you what. I want to be like her when I grow up. She sincerely enjoyed making the day perfect for her daughter. I never heard her speak a single word that let-on that any of it was stressful to her. She was a picture of southern hospitality (she's a fellow TRUE southerner) and full of grace as she cared for her daughter, her family, her guests. Inspiring. As I was downstairs at the church, fussing over Lou's dress and hair, I just smiled as I pictured Tammie and Rebekah upstairs doing the same. I loved watching them.
Being the mother of the mini-members of the wedding party is a whole different day. Its doesn't have the number of details, not the same kind of stress, and nothing that my 3 did would keep the happy couple from getting married. But it is an adventure. My job is to 1)keep them free from injury 2) keep their clothes free from tears/wrinkles/stains and 3) have them show up rested, calm and ready to S-M-I-L-E.
Slightly more easily said than done. Hmph.
So, our "wedding day" looked a little something like this:
9am: Head to the Bride's house to drop off some food. On the way there we have one of those conversations that you want to remember to ask your spouse HOW-IN-THE-WORLD they managed to leave you alone for. It involved step-families and marriage commitments and all sorts of other heavy topics (and the bride lives approx 6 minutes from us). The highlight was when Cbug said "So, since Mr K and Mrs T are still alive for the wedding. And Rebekah is marrying Mark. I guess Mr K and Mrs T are adopting Mark, right?" So much to unpack there. I handled it like any season parent would. "Yep, I guess so."
9:45 am Before I know it, all three of my cherubs are lined up at the MOB's kitchen bar eating muffins and drinking juice and water. Because obviously the mother-of-the-bride has nothing ELSE to do today. Which would have been fine, except that much of her family was on their way for breakfast and my sweet daughter dumped an entire bottle of water on herself, the barstool, and the kitchen floor. Luckily the FOB and I were able to grab some towels and get it cleaned up without the MOB having to do any extra work. UGH.
10:30 Home. Watch a movie quietly. Until boys break out in full out wrestle and we have conversation number 28462984 about how we will (and won't) behave in tuxedos later in the day.
12:00 lunch. Kids are super silly. Even throwing food at one point. I get frustrated and send everyone to bed. Lou asks nicely to finish her yogurt. I leave her at the table with only a couple of bites to go
12:30 Tucking kids into bed. Go to kiss Lou. See that she had not, in fact, finished eating her yogurt. Instead, she had smeared it all over her face and into her clean hair. AWESOME. definitely do not bathe her again, just wash her off in the sink and head her back to bed.
2:30. Everyone awake and playing in playroom, I'm upstairs putting baby brother down for a nap. I hear the flower girl say to one of the ringbearers "Would you like me to cut your hair?" and promptly come FLYING down the stairs to all her innocent glory in the playroom. just pretending. And I manage to not pass out from that mini-heart-attack.
3:00. RRL is home. Everyone getting dressed. Feeding baby. Packing no less than 15 bags that have to go with us. Diaper bag. Books and snacks bag. Getting dressed bag. Portable DVD player and other electronics bag. ETC. Yes, we'll be at the church for no more than 3 hours. Yes, all of this is completely necessary.
4:30 Arrive. On time. With time to spare. YAY us.
5:35 take some pics of kids. I can easily fast forward this picture 20 years.Think about how I'll blink and Lou will be standing between her brothers in a white dress. Shed a few tears.
5:36 Sentimental moment cut short when sweet hug leads to a flower girl sandwich which is causing boutonnieres to crumble. Must be rescued.
5:55 Everyone ready to line up and KJ has to go to the bathroom. Of course. But he manages to make it out just in time.
6:00 Wedding about to begin. Leave kids with bridesmaids. Pray they'll behave. Sneak to my assigned seat on the front row, where I join RRL and baby C- who is performing his wedding role brilliantly by being fast asleep.
6:10 watch kids come down the aisle, motion for Lou to come sit with us and watch with wide eyed wonderment while my boys, who can typically not sit still long enough to eat, actually stand in relatively one place for the whole ceremony. They whispered in each other's ears, perfected the art of standing on one foot and then the other, and got lots of thumbs-up from their parents (and the Bride's parents, too)
6:45- Couldn't see boys walk back down the aisle and make it out of the sanctuary. But word has it they made it 3/4 of the way without racing. Success.
6:46- console Lou after she realized she once again forgot to drop any petals from her basket. We go back in to drop them after the guests leave.
7:00- Make crazy faces and sounds while standing behind a photographer I've never met, just to get the mini-party-members to look at her camera and smile.
7:30: Head into the reception Smile and appreciate all the sweet compliments about our children. Smell like sweat. Take my heels off. Let children have every bribe they request. Tell them over and over how proud I am.
9pm Realize that while our children could stay and dance (and eat candy) all night, their parents are barely able to walk to the car. We are ready to head home.
10pm. Home. Exhausted. Happy. Falling asleep genuinely thankful to have had my treasures asked to participate in such a special way.
It makes for a crazy day, but I love that my kids have had such fun opportunities to be apart of weddings at such an early age. I love that they are learning, by watching, what it means to make this huge commitment. Thanks, Mark & Rebekah, for setting such a beautiful example for them.