My camera battery died right before the group photos with the bride and groom, but I’m sure they’ll show up in someone else’s collection. In the meanwhile, here’s the one my stepmom took right before we left Whidbey for the wedding.
It was fun just to get a full 24 hours with Mr. BCA and the kids without being distracted by housework, the internet, and goodness knows what else. We had an awesome conversation with the kids in the car at 9 o’clock at night about morbidity and death that was both awkward and highly entertaining. Crane asks the tough questions, like “what are people for?” and “Are my air bubbles (alveoli) alive, how come they don’t crawl all over me?” which resulted in our needing to reassure her that they would not suddenly revolt and take over her body…followed by the even harder hitting “are you gonna die?” and the observation “when I am a grown up, then I will die.” At one point it devolved into a laughing game wherein everyone got a turn to try to make everyone in the car laugh and you got a point for each person who laughed. We all got a chance to bomb and Crane developed a frightening shrieky laugh that was contagious. Toilet humor also never fails to entertain.
I love my little family so much, I’m so glad we have each other. I express continuous remorse that no one else has children anymore and so everywhere we go unless it is a spectacular mama campout, there are just less kids than I remember getting to pack up with as a kid. There were 6 children at the wedding with an average age of 4 in a party of more than a hundred. And one of them was the bride’s! Does anyone else with kids notice this? Same goes for the cousins department, my kids have no cousins. Maybe I just remember family gatherings with more fondness for the kids I ran with, but it seems like there are more and more either not having kids or waiting. My stepmother reminds me that this is a good thing, better that women have birth control and choice and that those who are not ready, fit, or patient enough shouldn’t be encouraged. Not to mention the toll taken on children by resentful parents or those for whom the child is a trophy of some twisted sort, in a landscape of failure, or simply ignored once they are no longer “cute.” But meanwhile I can’t help that think its a little sad, that in our longer lifespans and some of the greatest apparent affluence, so few are growing into parents. Or maybe parenthood has just changed me enough that I find the childless boring and often self-absorbed. I feel like even though parenthood is relatively easy on me, a lot of my anxiety comes from inhabiting this crazy first world where life goes fast and frantic and taking the time for children leaves me feeling like a failure. And yet I’m 33 and finding a new kind fo confidence in myself as my youngest approaches a year of weaning and I am beginning to imagine contributing to society again.