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Wedded Bliss

just got back from my cousin’s wedding and I’m hoping that it will
be awhile before anyone else I know gets married. I need some time
to recover.

The night before we were to
leave, my husband came down with the flu. So I packed up four of
our five children (the oldest would rather eat spinach than dress
up for anything) and followed my brother and his family to

When we arrived at my cousin’s
house, who also happened to be the brother of the groom, we had 15
minutes to change clothes and get to the wedding.

I opened the back of the van
to grab our luggage and a roll of toilet paper fell out and
trailed down the driveway. We’re such a classy bunch.

My brother managed to get ties
on six boys while my sister-in-law, my 17-year-old daughter
Rachel, and I got dressed. One nephew forgot his dress shoes, and
the twins’ new shirts were more wrinkled than a Chinese pug, but
we made it to the wedding before the bride started down the aisle.

After the reception my brave
cousins invited all the relatives back to their house. I looked at
the twins and was glad I had brought an extra set of clothes for
them. Their white shirts were now untucked and stained with
chocolate cake and pink punch. The ties were long gone. As soon as
they changed clothes, they hopped on the girls’ bikes (in between
rain showers) and took off. I watched from the living room window
as they ramped the neighbor’s steps. Before I could open the front
door and yell, my nephew jumped someone’s azalea bush and almost
cleared it.

Mark, my cousin and owner of
the house we were visiting, laughed when I told him about it and
advised me to relax. I took a deep breath and closed the curtain.
Someone had parked behind my van. Maybe the neighbors wouldn’t be
able to copy down my license plate number.

I settled in on the couch next
to an aunt and sipped a glass of iced tea. Relax, Mark had said. I
took a deep breath and tried. Right about then someone yelled for
me. One of the twins had fallen out of a tree and his brother said
he wasn’t breathing.

Fortunately he just had the
breath knocked out of him, but because he landed in the dog pen
and it had been raining, he was covered with mud and

Next year on their anniversary
the newlyweds will thaw out their wedding cake, look at pictures,
and remember what a beautiful ceremony they had.

Somehow, I don’t think that’s
what I’ll be remembering.

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