The wedding is at one of those little Pennsylvania churches–stone, stained glass, no AC, fans in the pew pockets. Granuaile gets bored with the fan after a flap or two, but when I try to use it, she swipes it from my hands. The groom, who has kids of his own, has thoughtfully provided crayons and a wedding-themed coloring book for the kids. Immediately upon entering our pew, the woman sitting next to the Cap’n offers to take Wee Boatswain out of his arms. (We find out later she’s the wife of a college friend.) He cheerfully agrees, leaving me to wrangle the Girl.
The wedding itself is a bit of a sweaty blur. Our friends–the couple getting married–are beautiful and radiant. G is fascinated with the flower girl. We see lots of old friends in attendance–older, balder, fatter, but in some cases, that suits them. The Cap’n struggles through the Presbyterian service, not knowing the hymns or prayers. I give myself away as a non-Presbyterian, because I can never remember to say debts and debtors.
After, we gather in the lawn in front of the church, politely forming an aisle along the sidewalk for the bride and groom. As the exit the church, G runs up to them, standing in their path, forever captured in their wedding photos I’m sure. The mother-of-the-bride has thoughtfully arranged for a sitter to stay with WB at the hotel while we go to the reception. The sitter finds us, introduces herself, and launches into long explanations about things while I balance the WB, concentrate on the sweat rolling down my leg and dripping on my shoe, catch G who seemed to be walking away with a couple I’d never seen before, and making small talk with people I hadn’t seen in fifteen years. The sitter asks for a ride to our hotel. We laugh–we have two car seats in an early model Prius. She’s small, but…
Back at the hotel, the Cap’n tries to keep G from going nutty. I rip off my dress and slip and shoes, nurse the WB, throw my clothes back on, and try to stop the sweating before the sitter arrives. She brings a friend. (I can almost hear the Cap’n mentally calculating the cost of feeding the friend from the room service menu and weeping.) We go over the rules, show her how to swaddle, wish her luck, and head for the elevator. As G hits the button, I worry that this is a mistake. The Cap’n kisses me and says that I’ve made much progress since G was born, that I wouldn’t have been able to make it to the elevator before worrying with her.
The reception is at a gorgeously shabby chic barn. The gardens are lush and bountiful, with a crumbling metal playground nearby. G is mesmerized by the dancing and manages another photobomb, planting herself firmly in line with the photographer and the bridal couple.
Dinner is outside, under a tent. We are seated with old friends. G’s attention lasts as long as her french fries, and she’s off to blow bubbles with the flower girl. They soon become fast friends and turn into sweaty little fairies, running around amid the fireflies and hedgerows.
After dinner, more friends, more dancing. G dances with the flower girl and the ring bearer. She dances with the Cap’n. She dances by herself. We drag her off the dance floor so she can watch as the guest light sparklers, creating a path to the bridal couple’s car. The flower girl realizes her dad isn’t coming back tonight and cries; G hugs her.
Back at the hotel, everything is fine. The WB has slept peacefully, the sitter says. We pay her and tuck our grubby girl in bed with her books and kitty. The wedding guests gather in the hotel bar for further celebration. The Cap’n and I take turns going down for a drink and staying with the sleeping children; then it is bedtime, even for us.