Fifteen years ago I woke up, far earlier than my personal preference, to my three-year-old son jumping in the crib of my giggling two-year-old daughter. Their dad wasn’t awake yet, since he had been working until 4am, so it was all me. Unfortunately I realized, once I was able to think clearly, that my throat was hurting and my head throbbing.
Side note: it was also my wedding day. Our wedding day.
Yes, folks, Gilberto and I planned and carried out a full-on wedding with two busy babies, full-time jobs and, as it happens, a pretty bad case of strep throat. I am so in awe of those young parents, because these days Gil and I can’t figure out how to order gas before we run out. By the way, why does gas always seem to run out on a Saturday night? As we speak, clothing is draped all over the house because we have a gas dryer, and I’m trying to psych myself up for another ice-cold shower.
The funny part is, I wasn’t even very stressed out about the wedding at first. We created a digital invitation with our children as the hosts, I bought my simple white sundress off the rack downtown (it’s still my favorite item of clothing in all the world), and we got a local seamstress to sew the rest of the family’s wedding attire. A wonderful parent from our school helped us plan a beautiful, simple dinner at the hotel he managed and a friend of mine asked to be the wedding coordinator and madrina of the flowers.
Who needs tons of decorations when the beach is your venue? Who needs to audition musical acts when all your friends are musicians? Who needs a hair and makeup person when you’ve got a full bottle of mousse and some mascara? Who needs to plan the perfect wedding when you’re already living on love?
Two days before the beach wedding we married legally in the world’s smallest courthouse in little Bahia de Banderas. The night before the wedding, we had a rooftop barbeque for our out of town guests.
And the morning of my wedding, I woke up to two babies jumping in the crib and a raging case of strep throat. That’s kind of when I started to think this day might be a bit of a disaster. I really hadn’t done a lot of planning with timelines like when we’d take pictures or when the sun would actually set. We didn’t have a rehearsal because, well, we didn’t really organize one.
I started wondering what kind of person invites eighty people to an event they don’t really organize, and what kind of person gets married with strep throat, and what kind of person forces their children to tell all their friends they were the ring bearer at their own parents’ wedding.
And as I stood in that room, wondering what medication was going to make a dent in what was becoming a pretty Big Snag in the day, someone put his arms around me from behind and I remembered what this was all about.
It was about two people from two completely different worlds who met up and found something real. It was about a family, created and sustained by love. It was about celebrating something so unlikely and so wonderful. It was about building something every day, in sickness and in health.
So strep throat actually kind of fit. Spontaneity and a bit of chaos REALLY fit.
How was the day? I don’t remember much about not feeling well, or the fact that dinner was delayed because I mixed up the schedule.
But I remember saying “I do” before the sun set. And I remember the music. And I remember dancing with our babies who were covered in chocolate and sand. And I remember holding hands all day with my groom.
Happy fifteenth anniversary to my love, who always reminds me what this is all about.