Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mary & Ryan's Wedding

We're down in Portland for my sister Mary's wedding and I want to make sure to write down some of the good memories we're making so I don't forget.

Mia and I came down Friday and Jason's been working so he just arrived today. It was my first time traveling alone with her and it went really well. She was up from 4 am AK time to 11 pm West Coast time with only an hour nap on a flight and she handled it pretty well. We had five minutes to get from our first flight to board the second flight and she ran through Sea-Tac like a pro. I just held her Elmo backpack about two steps in front of her and she wanted it so she kept going really fast. (That's some good parenting right there.) As it was we were the last people on the flight and we almost missed it. Our first flight was late coming in which is why it was such a tight connection. Once we were on the flight I gave her a big high-five. "We made it! Good job!" The flight was a commuter from Seattle to Portland and they had time to go over the safety instructions, announce beverage service with the caveat that due to limited time, please only choose one beverage, basically throw the beverages at each row of passengers (we passed) and then immediately announce that we were beginning our descent so they were coming around to collect the cups. It was humorous watching people gulp entire cups of beer and what-have-you. I felt so elated because it was the end of our journey and I knew my sister and her fiance Ryan were going to be there waiting for us. They were right outside security when we got off the plane and it was so good to see them. We spent the first afternoon playing x-box Kinect and watching White Christmas. No I didn't bring it you sickos! I have some limits on watching Christmas movies! But Mia found it where we are staying and so I gave in and let her watch it only 3 times so far... I don't blame her, it truly is one of the best Christmas movies of all time. Besides it's June, so we're technically only three months from the beginning of Christmas season which goes from October to January in my book. My littlest sister Bethy got off work late that night and as soon as Mia saw her she went beserk. She was rushing her and screaming excitedly. She started singing loudly and rushing around in a hyper second-wind thing before I wrangled her off to bed.

The next morning we had to go to a dress fitting and I got to see my sister's wedding dress for the first time. No hints here Ryan, sorry. BUT, it is awesome and you will love it! I won't say much but she looks like a freaking goddess in it. I also got to see Bethy in the bridesmaid dress which had been altered; she looked incredible in it. I got my dress pinned up and when we were all finished we drove over to my brother Liam's house to visit with him, my mom, and Liam's two adorable children, Liam and Addyson. Mia and little Liam have this cousin thing going on where as soon as they see each other they laugh and then immediately start playing. They look alike and they are about the same age and they love each other. Mia is rather nonchalant towards the baby but she lets me hold her without trying to peel her from my arms which was her past attitude towards babies. We only had one catastrophe that day wherein Mia walked in front of a hard swing that Liam was swinging on and it hit her in the mouth and chin, so that was a little messy but we finally got her calmed down and determined she didn't need stitches. She fell asleep in the car on the way home, around 5 pm, and stayed asleep for the next 10 hours, waking only for a banana and potty break and then going back to sleep for an additional two and a half hours. It was a weird night. But at least she got caught up on sleep.

The next day we got ready for what we affectionately termed the "Panty Party", just a lingerie shower for some of Mary's girlfriends. It was really fun, about sixteen people or so and everyone seemed excited, watermelon cups with coconut rum in the bottom and lots of good food. Red roses and white candles and a constant hum of feminine conversations. Mia noticed at one point that everyone was talking to someone. "Talk to me, Mom." And she tried to herd me away from who I was talking to at that moment. She complimented the guests on their nails and jewelry and laughed (forcibly) at times when everyone else was laughing. I tucked her into bed while people were still lingering.

Mia's really latched on to Uncle Ryan this trip. She knows he will play catch with her when my sisters and I are talking and she's bored out of her gourd. She snuggles with him and watches movies, tries to suffocate him with blankets and asks if he's coming to see her multiple times a day. He attends to her little comforts and wishes and she has deigned to return the full range of her warmth on him. 

All this time, every day, we talk about Daddy and when he is coming. He's been working a job out of town and this wedding is our chance to see him; after the wedding he goes back to work and we don't see him again for a while. Mia says things like: "My Daddy is amazing. Do you think he's amazing? I miss him so very much." But this morning I dragged her out of bed and we went to the airport and got him. He's sleeping right now in this very room and she's sleeping in the bedroom and all is right in the world because we are together.

I articulated something to my sister that I keep saying. Because it brings tears to my eyes when I say it and I know that it's true. And it helps you keep your perspective on life. It goes something like this: The wedding won't be perfect. Life won't always be ideal. Being together is just that, it's about going through life, whatever it brings, together. You'll have so many amazing moments, like when you give birth to your child, or one of you is sick and the other one is there for the other. Or when you look at each other ten years from now and realize you're still best friends.

For me, time softens relationships, they grow more mellow yet more complex. The shine of idealism wears off as you realize you're still human and so are they and sometimes you make mistakes and sometimes life just happens and you can't control it. But you love each other anyway. You're loved in your imperfections and you find that you love in spite of imperfections. So wedding time has waxed me philosophical. I love my family and I get to see even more of them in the next few days! I'm so grateful I could be here for this special moment in my sister's life.

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