Saturday, June 23, 2018

Outings (and what NOT to do at a wedding)

I was pretty excited as today dawned. Well, I was not thrilled about the toddler waking up bright and early (as has been his habit all week long) on a day when we could sleep in, but my husband graciously got up, changed and fed him, so it was a good start to the day. Then, when my husband had an all-morning activity, I headed out the door with my son for a "fun outing." 

Within minutes, we were in the Target parking lot and I discovered that, even though I had changed him right before we left, his diaper and shorts were soiled, so there we were, in our parking spot, getting him all cleaned up. But that's life, right? I had a gift card for Starbucks in my wallet, and I planned to get myself a treat after we did our shopping in Target. Because really, I was exhausted as the day began. I was so, so tired. I have had several days lately when the pregnancy fatigue is almost at the level of first-trimester exhaustion. So I needed coffee, and I did not want to make it myself because I was too tired to even think of making coffee. Silly, but true. 

Anyways. We went into the store to buy a little gift to supplement a friend's wedding present, and what do you know? The printer at the registry kiosk was out of service. So I walked over to Guest Services, and nicely explained the situation to the lady who worked there. She graciously explained to me that I could just go online, access the registry, and purchase whatever gifts I wanted to. WELL, unlike the majority of the population, I don't own a smartphone, so I explained to her that there was no way I was going home and pulling out my dying laptop to access a registry before coming back to the store. A teensy bit frustrated at this point, I decided just to buy a gift card in the amount I was planning to spend and call it good. 

I pushed the cart over to the Starbucks area, and offered my son a banana. See, our Target (maybe every Target does this? I didn't learn about it until recently) offers one free piece of fruit to kids under 12 in the area near Starbucks. And I figured, Even though we don't "do" snacks normally, it's almost lunchtime and if I get him a banana, he'll be happy with it and not want my fancy drink. He kept asking for cookies and muffins that were attractively displayed, but I explained that he had his banana and that we weren't going to eat those. All was going pretty well, until I was handed my ultra-caramel frappuccino-whatever-it-was. He kept trying to hand me the banana and take my coffee, and all I could think was Please please just calm down, I just don't have the energy today. It was then that an angel sent from God (aka the lady working at Starbucks) beckoned me: 

Is it okay if I give him a small cup of whipped cream? she whispered. 

YES. YES PLEASE AND THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU! I handed over the cup of whipped cream to my son and he curiously sipped it with the straw. "Do you like it?" I asked. "MMMM. COFFEE!!!!" he declared, smiling. Sending more looks of gratitude to the kind woman, I headed out the door and we continued on our way. 

As we drove to the farmer's market, my son happily sipped his whipped cream, remarking "Starbucks. Coffee!" and feeling very fancy, I'm sure. The farmer's market was pretty uneventful, for which I was grateful. We headed home, with just a couple hours before we needed to leave for the wedding. Right before I prepared lunch, I decided to take out the trash. I had been putting this off for a couple days, and the bag was full. As I was lifting it out of the can, the bag started ripping, so I was frantically trying to hold it up and grab a second bag. While all this was happening, my son was dumping a cup of water all over the kitchen table and floor. I took the trash outside, threw a towel on the water, and looked over to see...a maggot crawling out of the now-empty garbage can. I looked closer, and saw a whole line of tiny maggots who were slowly crawling towards the top. Ugh. Why did I put off taking the trash out??? I just did not want to deal with it, so I tossed the trash can outside to deal with another day, and I mopped the floor. I got lunch for myself and my toddler, and soon after, he stretched out on the rug and fell asleep. 

He only could take a short (20-30 minute) nap, which made me a little leery as we headed out the door to the wedding. We were making good time, and as I looked the directions, I remarked to my husband, Cool, we only have 2.6 miles to go. It was still 15 minutes before the wedding, so not only would we be on time, but we'd be early! Right...

We drove down the road a few hundred feet, when we encountered it: all of the cars in our lane were completely stopped because, down the a track that crossed the road before us, there was a train that was completely stopped. Cars were turning around, and after a minute or so of deliberation and looking at the map, we turned around as well. My husband redirected us so that we could avoid the train, and we were driving down the road, still hopeful to make it to the church before the wedding. We saw the tracks up ahead and yes! All clear! No train in sight! Right...

As we closed in on the track, we saw the red lights and the barriers going down. Apparently, the train was moving again, and it was coming back. Or something (I don't know which way the train had been moving to begin with). But finally, we arrive at the church right at the appointed "start time" of the wedding, find a parking spot, and holding the toddler in my arms, I begin dashing like a mad woman towards the church. Because weddings start late, right? So we probably won't miss anything? 

We get inside the building, and I hand the toddler over to my husband, zooming across the gathering space. I see a small cluster of little children with their parents walking in a door, so I figure, perfect, we'll just slip in with them and no one will notice us. Right...

I began speedily walking up to the door, not bothering to look around or slow down. I'm on a mission! To see my good friend get married! And...I walk through the door and glance over, and notice that Oh hey! My friend is standing there, decked out in wedding finery, with her parents. For a split second, I thought Yes! The procession hasn't even started yet! We haven't missed anything! But then I walked through the door and realized the truth as an entire congregation of people stood facing me and the other people I had walked in behind. 

Oh. The bridal procession already went down the aisle. Everyone was waiting for the bride. Who was right behind us. Awkward. A nice lady ushered us over to the side to get us out of the way, and I noticed my husband and toddler slip in, unnoticed to everyone else, through a side door. We made our way to the pew, and enjoyed the beautiful wedding Mass and witnessing the marriage of our friends. 

My husband put it well when, after the wedding, he chided me: Now what did we learn today? Don't rush in if you're going to a wedding. Good, sound advice, which I'll try to remember and put into practice next time. 

All in all, it was a lovely day, and even though our toddler had some spurts of crankiness at the reception (alas, his nap was all too brief!) and couldn't handle the really loud music for the dancing portion so we left, we still enjoyed ourselves. I've learned some good lessons today (don't leave the toddler with one's husband while you zoom in without them) and gotten a dose of humility + awkwardness in the mix. On top of it all, I met a wonderful woman at the wedding reception who I'm pretty sure is a kindred spirit, which is pretty cool. And when we arrived home, I watched the end of Little Dorrit. Life is good, blessed, and full. Full of fun and exhaustion, full of awkwardness and messes, and full of joy. 

If you made it this far, thanks for bearing with me and my rambles! I just felt like sharing this peek into my awkward existence with all of you today. I'm going to go knit a little more before bed, so I'll end here. Time to relax and think about how much I loved Little Dorrit and want to watch it all over again, even though I have 3 books I'm currently reading that I've neglected this week to watch that show. So many books, so little time, you know?  


  1. Thank God for that thoughtful woman at Starbucks! It's great when people anticipate small acts that would help someone out.

    Thanks for sharing your wedding incident, too! Oh my goodness! I'm the same way when I'm late! (Side note: I often pray that whatever event I'm going to will start late when I'm running late! It's not always a person's fault if they're running late!)

    1. Yes! That Starbucks woman was seriously the best. Haha! Glad to hear that you have awkward running-late experiences too! I have also had occasions where I'll pray that the event starts late; for some reason, I didn't even think of sending up that kind of prayer this time :P

  2. Oh goodness!!! What a day! The wedding saga is exactly the sort of thing that would happen to me. Too funny!

  3. I can just imagine the awkwardness of walking into the wedding right ahead of the bride!! Oh no!! Well, at least you made it in time to see the ceremony! :) And that lady at starbucks was so kind!

  4. Oh man!! What a day. And I bet you’ll always remember that wedding - what a story. Thank goodness for that nice lady at Starbucks!