The hotel, for the boys, was a vacation in itself. Two large fluffy beds, a goodies tray between, and tall windows they could stand in. The sliding doors of the walk-in bathroom were delightful, too. I gave the condiment tray to my mother, $3.00 for each snack would rack up a bill. I gave the boys books and went to the bathroom. If only I hadn’t forgot that hotels usually have cabinets stocked with beverages…
In a cabinet under the tv was a cache of drinks. I heard the familiar ‘pop’ of a soda can as I washed my face and rushed out. Two cans of soda were on the cabinet, a shelf was open underneath, and beside that shelf an open door. In the shelf someone had poured out soda, it was still fizzing. I got a towel and soaked up the excess. Behind the cabinet door was a fridge, where someone had unscrewed bottles. The drinks were full, but we’d have to pay for them.
I knew better than to ask Savion, gleefully bouncing on the bed, or Anwar, giggling underneath two comforters, nor would Taj answer my questions, so absorbed in drawing he was.
I clapped my hands, saying, “Time to clean up!” and called housekeeping. My dad stopped by. Mounds of sugar were beneath the coffee pot and table, two little wastebaskets overflowed with soda cans and bottles, comforters and sheets were strewn across the floor.
“It looks like a rock band’s been sleeping here,” he remarked wryly.
And we’ve only just begun, I thought. I focused on our next task, the “wedding walk.”
The wedding coordinator suggested that the boys practice being” junior groomsmen” before the rehearsal dinner that night. The rehearsal was not being held at the venue(Botanica Gardens in Wichita, KS), but at the hotel and dinner would follow. The boys, mom, dad and me( Victor had to work) met my brother and a bridal party member at the Gardens. Each child would walk with one bridal party member. Savion counted steps from the garden entrance to the circular grassy field where the ceremony would be held. Forty-seven. Anwar walked cautiously with hands over his eyes. And Taj. He fell on the floor, arced his back, and buckled his knees when we tried to stand him up.
Sensory overload, stubborn,fatigued? Savion chose this precise moment to try and jump in the fountain behind the ceremony area. We caught him just in time. Taj was still protesting as we left. Anwar,distressed at Taj’s behavior, was stomping his feet. Savion, sad about not going to the garden bookstore, perked up when I said we’d see Aunt Ashly(my future sister-in-law) soon.
Two instrumentalists were at the rehearsal. The room filled with family and wedding party members. Everyone lined up outside to practice walking in with music, and I was tense.
Will Taj refuse to move? Will Anwar start flailing his arms? Will Savion dance away? Am I being unfair to their needs by asking them to participate? I didn’t need to worry. Taj blew a raspberry at the maid of honor when she said, “Hi, ” but other than that it was smooth. Time to test our skills of sitting and eating. Dinner.
They sat with some fidgeting, but did well, and were given backpacks at the meal. Navy blue cloth bags with their names in green and gray drawstrings. Each bag had a water bottle with a food container on top, plus another gift. Taj’s gift was a car, which he rolled over Uncle Yannic’s head like a racetrack. Savion got a kid’s introduction to French book, and Anwar received a yo-yo. The night was not devoid of of antics though.
The doors were closed after Savion ran out the room. Taj darted over and grinned as he turned off the lights. I captured Taj, and Savion started laps around the table. Anwar got upset at their behavior and tried to bite his hand, which I soothed with deep pressure around his body(a hug). But everyone was understanding.
The attendees allowed the boys, the flower girl, and ring bearer to be children. If they wanted to sit on the carpeted floor and play with their toys, after dinner, it was ok.
Victor came when dessert was served. The boys were winding down, but got excited again when they saw Daddy. It was bedtime. Victor went downstairs to the bar to “Toast the Couple.” I went upstairs to the room with the boys and they immediately fell asleep.
What adventures will we have tomorrow? I fell asleep.