Sunday, November 09, 2008

Weddings just aren't the same anymore.

Tonight one of Steven's childhood friends got married. Weddings are a fun event for our family. The girls love seeing the bride, looking at the cake, dancing....I love the free food, the confined "playspace" of the reception halls, and the Daddy-helper in attendance. A few months ago when one of Steven's co-workers got married, our family sat with some of his other work friends who have no kids. Steven joked with me about how they probably couldn't wait to get out of there, a wedding where none of us knew anyone except each other. But for us with young kids, "weddings are as good as it gets"....a free night of food and entertainment!

We've all looked forward to this wedding today, and I spent the afternoon planning out clothes for everyone. All the girls got new outfits (me included!). I bought the girls gorgeous red Christmas dresses with matching doll dresses and they couldn't wait to put them on! But I made them wait since I wanted to check another "Penney's" (they had a supersale today) to see if I could find a smaller size for Ellie. We loaded the car up and journeyed across town to visit with his family before the wedding.

The baby screamed almost the whole way and the girls fell asleep. I found the dress in a size 4 (score!) and we arrived to Grampatti and BopBop's house for a nice visit before we all would leave for the wedding. At some point Mary Clare became convinced that she'd rather play at Aunt Jill's house than go to the wedding (what? no dressing up in the red dress and dancing with mommy at the wedding?), but I was sure that Ellie would still want to come and maybe make her sister change her mind. But nope, Ellie would rather have a movie and pizza night with her aunt too. So off they went, and off we went...after dressing the screaming baby in his button-down shirt, sweater vest, and khakis. Cutie pie!

After a short drive to the church with the screaming baby (are you noticing a pattern?), we arrived early (what? us early?) and had a few seconds in the pew before Mr. Screamy caused us to spend the rest of the ceremony in the Narthex. We walked into the next building for the reception and visited and waited and waited for the buffet to start (you can't tell I was famished can you?). Meanwhile Mr. Screamy Teether kept up his screaming. At one point I tried to nurse him which he didn't want, so I stood up quickly, knocking over and shattering a glass. Nice. I don't think anyone ever cleaned it up. Sorry, Philip and Nicole.

I kept thinking of the girls and how I'd love to see them dancing around. Wondering if they'd wished that they had come with us. Wondering what their pretty red dresses would look like on them. We kept having to tell people that "no this isn't our first baby". We're real parents you know. We've got three kids. Three. We've been married 7 years. We are old. My sister-in-law was commenting on how she remembers being one of those 20 year-olds hanging out at weddings, not even associating with the 40 year-old crowd....but now she was in the 40 crowd! My father-in-law was saying, "now we're one of them. One of those old people. Why do they even invite old people to weddings?"

I guess there's something about weddings that makes you realize where you are in life. Especially when you see old friends. Many kids that Steven grew up with were there, so he had fun trying to figure out who was who and what in the world that person's name was! I was realizing how much of a mommy I am now. No interest in wedding details, honeymoon information, or ring glares. I just wanted to be with my baby and my girls in my bed. After I had my lasagna, that is.

The baby kept screaming on and off so we finally made an exit out the back door, just as they were about to start the toasts and cake-cutting. I can't believe I actually left a wedding before the cake was cut and before the dancing started! Now I've been craving wedding cake all night. We picked up the girls who had a wonderful time watching Hannah Montana (what? I think we might need a little talk with Aunt Jill ;), crafting with stickers and paper, and eating pizza. All the kids were screaming for one reason or another when we put them in their carseats, but within 5 minutes everyone including Steven fell asleep while I drove the truck home and talked to Veronica on the phone. What a night.

I think I might agree with what BopBop had to say about weddings..."I think when you're 75 you don't have to go to these things anymore". I'm not sure weddings are quite the same for the 30 year-old married with kids crowd anymore either. Now with a fussy, crabby, crawling, walking baby/toddler, and girls that choose a pizza party over a wedding (gasp!)...I'm much more content with my family at home. We have own little weddings, birthday parties, dance classes, and masses going on in the living room every day anyway!

How you know it was a hard night: Not one photo taken. Sorry guys; you'll have to wait to see my vested boy and girl/dolly dresses till another time. Have a blessed Sunday!


Neen said...

I am defined as the one who is either pregnant at a wedding or with a new born. Often we wouldn't get invited, becasue so many people don't want children there (or honestly can't afford to have them invited!)

Lately I have found that I leave the weddings too sad. This young couple is so focused on where they will buy a house and how their careers will go that it almost appears that they forget that it is supposed to be about families. It is supposed to be about their new family. I hope that isn't the case for your friends. I love your perspective on this, thanks for sharing.

PS WE love Hannah Montanna and in moderation it is nothing to fear. (Now that she is getting older the music might change but so far it is clean and I think safe for all ages!)

Blair said...

Thanks for your thoughts, Neen. I too hope this couple has the right focus...they did have lots of children there and it was a nice reunion for Steven's family friends! Most of the weddings we attend are for church friends so they're usually super kid-friendly!

I honestly have never watched Hannah Montana so I shouldn't judge it. I was under the impression that it was more for the pre-teen crowd than preschoolers though. My girls usually just watch Noggin or one of those Discovery Health shows about big families, when we see cable at our family's houses.

Kimberly said...

I'm sorry the baby was rejoicing too much at the wedding Blair.

Hopefully you can dress everyone up later and take a great Christmas family picture.

Last time we went to a wedding, we were able to go without ANY kids.

We had fun...left before the dancing though b/c we were in Bryan and had to drive home before it got too hoo!

Anonymous said...

You sound like a very kind-hearted individual, but please let me offer some perspective. Sometimes people prefer a more formal event and simply don't want children there to have them scream through the ceremony. How sad is that for the bride and groom to not be able to concentrate on the priest or minister because a parent insists on having their child present no matter what. A ceremony is a very sacred event and should be viewed as such. While I appreciate your perspective on kids, you must remember that the ceremony and wedding and the actual marriage is just as important to those who choose not to have children present. A wedding is about the couple getting married and having their day go just as they had planned. It is not an event for one to get a free meal or for them to show off their kids. So many with kids fail to recognize this. It is simply an issue of respect. Perhaps those married with children who are attending a wedding should remember all those who made whatever sacrifices they had to make to attend their wedding. Maybe then they wouldn't be so quick to judge. Don't forget about those who are told they cannot have a family. How dare any of us judge them for being less than spiritual when it is simply not God's plan.

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