We’ve had quite a week. Such a long, full week that it seems more like two or three weeks have passed in the last seven days. And we’re recovering from a very nasty bout of food poisoning too, which luckily didn’t strike until we had returned.
This time last week we were travelling up to Scotland for my dearest friend’s wedding. I’ve driven 800 miles, no small thing for someone not so used to driving. A very big thing for my two kids, since they travelled every one of those miles with me. And Ezra, who has previously only been in a car once, did relatively well, bar a few upset moments thwarted by Howard, who sat in the middle of both at all times and used his special Daddy nose-stroking technique to soothe his nerves.
We did other things in Scotland, too. We saw good friends and had a picnic in Edinburgh. We spent time with family. We bought a few Waldorfy bits and bobs from my favourite children’s shop. But mostly, we did weddingy things.
This was Ava’s 4th wedding, but I think it’s the first she’ll fully remember, wearing a special Mama-made dress and pink, sparkly, clippy-cloppy shoes that were a gift from the bride, and which have not left her feet since. She got a little upset in the cathedral when she saw us walk down the aisle and wanted to join us, but apart from that, she must have loved every second because she keeps talking about it, keeps asking to see photos or asking for her ‘Aunty JoJo’ and the fact that it was in a big, white fairy-tale castle? That didn’t hurt either.
She was made to feel very special, with presents and flowers just for her, and she danced around the ceilidh and took photos in the photobooth with her silly Mama and had a ball of a time. Ezra was brilliant too, although it is hard to have kids at a wedding and hard to juggle doing certain things with looking after them.
It meant the world to me to be there as a bridesmaid for someone who is as close to a sister as you can get, who I’ve known for 26 years now. And although I’m not a particularly weepy sort of person, watching her walk down the aisle made me feel overwhelmed with nostalgia and happiness – just sheer joy for this person who has been around since I can remember.
My first impression of this girl was on our first day of school, at 4 years old. Crazy blonde hair, and shouting, ‘Stop, everyone! I’ve lost my diamond ring!’. Looks all around, from kids and parents alike, as to this vivacious girl who had misplaced some expensive ring, only to discover her panic was over some 20p ring-machine thing that she had grown rather attached to.
Nothing much changes. She’s still like that. At one point on her wedding day she threw us our bridesmaid bouquets and they smashed in the air – small, sad petals floating to the ground as she roared with laughter. She sat next to me at the top table at my wedding, and she has been there, genuinely, every step of the way. Every time my kids gets to spend time around the people I love the most, I am sure that there can be no better thing on earth.