, the day of my mom's wedding, Graeme woke up with the hot, paper-dry skin of the fevered. He complained of bees in his nose and a sore throat, too, alternating the day between extreme lethargy and sudden torrents of tears. Daniel and I both felt run-down from our busy past couple of months. In Chicago, Daniel was supervising the remodeling of the condo and had spent three days operating on little sleep so he could box and haul away most of our worldly possessions before the floor guys started ripping up and replacing the wood floors. Here in Florida, I hadn't packed for the cruise, had nothing really appropriate to wear to my mom's wedding, and was living in a crazy-mess of a house. We talked on the phone, commiserating with each other, and decided to cancel our participation in my aunt's birthday cruise. It lifted a huge burden off of us. We'll get about 90% of the cruise cost refunded to our credit cards, won't have to drag a sick baby onto a boat in the middle of nowhere, and have gained seven precious days at home together without work or obligation. It has been divine ever since making that decision!
Around five pm, I bundled Graeme up into multiple fleecy layers and strollered to the neighborhood gazebo where my mom was getting married to her long-time boyfriend, Bob. She sprang the wedding idea on us last minute and I was pretty resentful of how she turned my aunt's birthday celebration into her own conveniently pre-paid honeymoon. Still, there was no doubting how supremely happy she was in that late afternoon light. About twenty-five of us witnessed them exchange some moving, personal vows (including one by Bob to act as her "knight in shining armor") and within a few minutes, they were married. We caravanned over to my aunt's patio which had been transformed with only a couple week's notice into this gorgeous wedding reception, complete with orchids and palm fronds and warm pools of candlelight. My mom was sparkling with happiness. For better or for worse, she's embraced this course of her life and looking around at the other guests, most of whom I'd never met, I could see how much my mom's life has diverged from my own. She is her own person and totally unaccountable to me. She has found ways to reinvent what her life is all about and has a whole circle of friends and new family that help her to do that. It was bittersweet but, with Graeme clinging and Daniel flying in later that night, mostly just sweet.
The reception ended early so everyone could finish getting ready for the cruise departure the next morning. I drove over to the airport and picked up Daniel. Such a relief to know, at least this week, he won't be flying away in a day or two and he won't be closeted in his office working until 2am. No, I get seven days with my husband! :)Saturday
, Graeme was snuffly and a bit under-the-weather, but he still announced, "Today, we are going to the beach!". How could I say no to that?! The three of us packed all our beach towels and toys and bundled up for the breezes. My brother Matthew, who'd come into town for the wedding and wasn't able to afford the cruise, called and we made plans to meet in Jupiter at the beach. He brought his wife and our two nephews, Gideon and Elliott (who is Graeme's age). It was such fun to see everyone playing in the sand and the surf. After the beach, we visited an adjacent playground and then drove over together to get lunch at Pollo Tropical, this Cuban fast-food place we love here in South Florida.
After lunch, we split from Matthew's family. I got the sheer luxury of a trip to Goodwill and an after-lunch nap (!!) while Daniel and Graeme played at our park. That night, we played with animals, picked up groceries at Greenwise, gave Graeme a bath and made pasta and steamed broccoli. Mmm. :) It was a perfect family night.Sunday
, I finally admitted defeat. Graeme's homemade whoops!mullet had to be repaired professionally. We drove to a children's hair salon at the Wellington Mall and watched Graeme go from stubborn terror ("I'm scared of the barber! I don't want a hair cut! I don't want my hairs cut!") to proud delight as he announced to anyone who would listen ("Hi, I'm Graeme. I got my hair cut today! I have a new hair cut!").
I'd gotten a completely unexpected refund in the mail for $80 and immediately vowed to apply it towards my Pajama Program
collection. I darted around the mall for about an hour and added six big kids sized pajama sets to my collection with the funds.
Oh! Oh! So, I didn't mention the other surprises at the wedding reception. My brother and sister-in-law, as a gift for our 5th Anniversary, gathered 28 pajamas to donate in our honor. My mother even took time from her festivities to deliver five fuzzy fleece sets. That, with my weekend's purchases, brings me to a total of 237 pajamas to donate. How outrageously generous and good-hearted are my friends and family! <3 :)
After shopping, we stopped at Darbster
for another amazing, nommy vegan meal. (Hello, tempura-battered cauliflower in sweet chili sauce!)( More photos here... )