Beautiful family wedding

About a month ago now, my big brother got hitched. My little sister got married last October but things were such a whirlwind that I missed writing about her shower/ bachelorette party/ wedding (some maid of honour, huh?)

This time around it was a smaller wedding, a sweet ceremony in a rural area outside of Ottawa with just family.

My brother and I are less than 2 years apart in age and despite the fact that he’s a boy and I’m a girl, we always hung out growing up. He’s probably the biggest influence on my musical tastes – he was buying and playing CD after CD growing up and for that reason I was ensconced in Nirvana and the Smashing Pumpkins rather than The New Kids on the Block like my peers. He introduced me to some of my still favourites like Sarah Harmer, the Odds, and of course lovely jazz music.

We had our differences over the years, but he never minded if I hung out with him and his friends (and I always wanted to) and we still have an easy relationship, whether we see each other a few times a year or a few times a week. He’s a great guy, driven and determined, goofy and fun, and my Baby J just adores him.

Since the wedding was small we all played roles to help out, and mine was to take photos (Tyler played accordion for the ceremony, and Baby J looked cute in his mini tux). I had an amazing palette to work with. My new sister-in-law is beautiful and funky – her purple hair and gorgeous handmade dress set off by the stone buildings was just splendid. She’s also creative and works at a garden center and so little touches of flowers were present all around.

It was nice getting to know her family a bit better as well, and I hope I was able to capture a few special moments for the happy couple! Here are some of my favourites.

getting married

butterflies at ceremony

just married

flowers at wedding

walking away after ceremony

pretty bride with purple hair

kids playing soccer

toast

Are you settling in for a summer for of weddings? I’m not sure that we have any to go to this summer for the first time in awhile!

Precious sleep

We’ve had a rough week around here. Baby J developed a cold and high fever Sunday night that led to not much sleep and by Monday he was just miserable. Pretty much the only words out of his mouth all day were ‘Mommy, help!’ and ‘Ow!’ and all he wanted to do was sleepily curl up next to me. It’s nice that I was able to work at home, but not easy with a little sidekick velcro’d to me.

little red

By 5pm his temperature hit 40 degrees and he was just listless and whimpering so we went to the clinic. The doctor confirmed what we thought – just a virus – but it was nice to have peace of mind as he checked J’s ears and lungs and said everything was fine, and it’d just have to pass.

So night time has been tough. Like newborn tough, without the whole sleeping all day aspect to make up for it. Up every hour or so, crying inconsolably for Mommy, soothed only when tucked right up in our bed so close that the rattly snores rocket through my head, forcing me to think about anything but sleep.

This will pass too – I know it will – and I’m trying to enjoy the tiniest bits that I can, to keep myself sane. The hours between bedtime and falling asleep seem endless, his little face peeking around the bedroom door over and over.

We listen to the songs that we love: The Beatles, Ryan Adams, The Carpenters, Hank Williams, and Coldplay as we wind down for the evening. I keep hoping it’ll do the trick, but more often than not I end up rocking him at his request, his legs too long to fit in the chair but his little arms circled around me tightly.

I do miss the days of being able to put him down to bed, then have the evening to myself to clean up, read or write and make lists, but I’m sure soon enough I’ll miss these days too.

Like the other night, well past bedtime and I was sure he was asleep. I heard a knock on the door and a voice called out, Mommy, help!! I opened the door and out galloped a smiling boy, wide awake and prancing past on his hobby horse.

Or the night I tried everything – singing, reading, rocking, telling story after story, even a bottle of water, bringing him back to bed over and over, and I finally just laid down on the floor by his bed. Please go to sleep, I whispered. Here you go, Mommy, he whispered back, passing me one of his beloved blankies.

One day he’ll be such a big boy – from grinning and jumping to doing puzzles and math and playing hockey or the drums. I won’t remember the weeks of feeling frustrated with the dishes and laundry piling up as I put him to bed over and over, or the fuzzy confusion that seems to plague me in between coffees as the days drag on. I’ll just remember the sweet face of my little boy, and the days where I could solve all of his problems just with hugs and kisses and being there.

Sunday night swing and a miss

swing

We went to the park this evening. It was a busy weekend, finishing up today with a cousin’s baptism and dinner out (read: trying to contain a two year old at church, then for two hours at a restaurant) and we thought he could use some fresh air and exploring time before bedtime.

We went to a nearby park which also happens to be the one a few houses down from the one I grew up in. It’s full of childhood memories and whispers of the past – something I’ve been thinking about lately, mostly, how I feel about living in the same neighbourhood I grew up in. I had a nice childhood and wouldn’t change it, but I feel a bit trapped or stuck in time for some reason.

I know things won’t be the same for my little boy as they were for me, that he may not be out on a bike or in a tree, off with neighbourhood pals til the dinnertime whistle shills down the street, but I want him to have a wonderful childhood too, with friends to play with and keep close. Is it boring to still live right in the place you grew up, for your kid to go to the same schools you did, repeating the same things? I guess I wonder if we should make a change, try to move into a spot with more young families and settle down a bit more.

He played hide and seek with us, and went on the slide, climbed and exclaimed and poked things with sticks. I took a moment and hopped on one of the swings. I swung higher and higher, thinking about the hundreds of time I’d swung in that exact same spot before, years ago, and then realized I don’t like the sensation at all anymore – I felt a bit queasy as the air whooshed past – so I got off.

It reminded me of how much I’ve changed, that although all these memories and things that make me up as a person are special, my own child will have his own memories and happy times, even if we have placed him in the same spot I was in. He’s growing up in a different world with different people and he’s surrounded but love so I’m confident he’ll one day look back and savour his own memories, whatever and where ever that turns out to be.

After a bath, books and finally tucking a sleepy boy into his bed, I got a call from my aunt in Winnipeg asking if I’d zip over to check up on my grandparents – no one had heard from them in a couple of days and the phone was constantly busy. I did just that – bringing my trusty little guard dog to prowl around Bayshore with me – and when I arrived, knocking on the back door at 10pm, they were inside, just happy to see us, and we tried to figure out what was up with the phones.

Driving home then, in the dark, with a misty slice of moon softly shining above and the silence all around, I thought that they’ve achieved such a great thing – the ability to be happy in a life well led. They go to doctors appointments and buy groceries, take the bus and smile at strangers, and in the evening they contentedly watch TV, play cards or read. Having seen so much, lost so many and now just being able to enjoy being comfortable with no pretense – it’s amazing.

They don’t care that they’ve done the same things over and over – they had adventure and traveled, there were children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, messy mealtimes, funny stories. Routine and predictable things are good now, and they can remember the past but also just simply enjoy the present moment. There’s no worry or doubt or wondering about what to do. Now is good enough, whether you live in the same place year after year and do the same thing again and again. They’re happy, and I am too.