Saturday, June 23, 2007

Wedding, Reception, and Reflection

The wedding of hubs' baby sister was held at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. Yes, the haunted hotel where Stephen King got the inspiration for The Shining. The 90's mini-series version of The Shining and Dumb and Dumber were both shot at The Stanley. The bride and groom took a haunted tour of the hotel with guests after the reception and stayed in a room in the manor (which is also supposedly very haunted). They are not freaks about ghosts, they just really like the mountains and found the hotel to be beautiful.
Giving away the bride

It was gorgeous. The views were breath taking, the wedding was tear-jerking. They got married outdoors in a gazebo. They had about 20 guests. Family and a couple of close friends. I've never been to such an intimate affair. The reception was a delicious dinner held in the manor at the Stanley. The only bummer would be that we had a 3-year old and 1-year old to keep entertained in the lulls. They did well overall, but are not really groomed for formal dinners at the Stanley Hotel yet. I love my kids, a lot, but they can really ruin a grown-up event, ya know? There were 8 kids there, under the age of 4. Among about 20 adults. The bride and groom wanted it that way, tantrums and all. They plan to have children soon and love their nieces and nephews. They wanted their family with them on this blessed day.

Sippy Cups and Stemware

Last night was the reception here in Omaha. The family met an hour before the reception started to eat together. Then there was a dance. This reception turned out to be such a FUN night. I was dreading it a little. Expecting a repeat of last week with lots of reigning in the kids and embarrassment over their manners. I was so wrong. It was one of those receptions where the adults all loosened up with free keg beer and the music was loud and kids ran around and danced by the dozens. We fit right in! My kids had such a good time and we stayed until about 10:30. Mason konked out in my lap around 10:00, but Brenna was still going strong when we drug her from the place.

I was so glad that my kids got to experience a night like this. When I was a child, this is how it was. We went everywhere with my parents. My parents didn't often ditch us with a babysitter, but they also did not give up their social life after having us. They took us to the local Legion Club (bar) while they drank with friends, we went to friends' houses while our parents play cards, and we definitely went to a lot of wedding receptions where we ran around and danced way past our bed times while our parents had their own good time.

For now at least, I think my own kids are getting a good taste of childhood. They may have scraped up knees from time to time and be a little tired this morning. Hopefully they will know what it is to really be a kid. And trust their parents to get them home to bed at night. Even if it's not at 7:45. A good night of fun now and then is worth it. I think.
*If any of the comments posted today confuse you, it's because I've taken out a big chunk of this post. The part where I ranted on about snooty parents who don't let their kids have any fun. I realized later (actually just now) that my rant goes against my biggest belief when it comes to parenting. "DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU". I was being harsh and judgmental. Judgmental people suck. I try really hard not to be one. So I've deleted a big chunk of my post that was just that. You didn't miss anything.


bubandpie said...

All right, I guess I'll speak up on behalf of the sleep nazis. We are pretty obsessive about the 7:45 bedtime. Sure, I allow exceptions - but, like, once or twice a year. I think I just got trained that way when Bub was a fussy, high-needs baby whose behaviour was always directly and immediately affected by any alteration in his sleep routine. It just wasn't worth it. Even now, one late night takes about a week to recover from (because it means extra-early wake-ups, lots of night-time wake-ups). So yeah. Whatever's going on has to be REALLY good for me to mess with the 7:45 bedtime.

Omaha Mama said...

It's less about the sleep and more about the fun. And once or twice a year is better than NEVER. I don't want to get all self-righteous like we don't skip stuff because it's easier to stay home and on routine. I just get annoyed with people that I know who can't seem to ever let their kids just have some fun. The particular parents that I'm thinking of who don't even really let their kids down (as in, holding a 2 year old through an entire family picnic) while the rest of the kids enjoy playing together. Sleep, yeah sleep is a tricky issue. Especially if it takes a WEEK to recover!

Jen said...

Hmmn. I think I can be both of those people...for example I rarely mess with bedtime during the week since Papoosie Girl is a crank in the morning is she is not in bed by 8pm.

That said I was in NY for an engagement party and we got back to our hotel at midnight. There are always exceptions and if we stay late at friends for dinner because we are all having a good time then so be it. I just try to make sure bedtime is on schedule the next day.

I know some friends (well friends of friends) and they do exactly as you said either clutch their kids the entire time we are together or follow them around, or you hear constantly (wife to husband) "do you know where Billy is?" over and over. I mean they can't escape the house, but they must have a visual on them at all times.

If it is a place that is familiar I can go quite a while before checking on them.

I am known to constantly wipe up dirty faces and hands, but I do make a conscience effort to let them get dirty too. If you saw how Papoosie Girl comes home from school each day you would laugh. Sand everywhere, lunch down her shirt and completely disheveled - and she loves it.

It has taken me a few years to chill out.

bubandpie said...

Yeah, I know - you weren't really talking about me. :)

I remember reading a post at Mary P's place - she's a home-care provider and one of the kids had parents who were absolutely vigilant that the child's clothing must be perfectly unstained by the end of the day. So Mary just nodded wisely and bought a couple of cheap play outfits (in the manner of Maria Von Trapp!).

Beck said...

My kids got tucked in at an almost-normal time at my brother's wedding, where their presence was WILDLY wished for - because they were falling apart, weepy and exhausted. Sometimes, the no-fun parents know that their kids are literally at the end of their ability to cope - but it drives me NUTS when people really don't let their kids have any fun, like my cousin who I see quite regularily but have never met her THREE YEAR OLD SON because she leaves him with a babysitter whenever there's a family event. That's so... ick.

Omaha Mama said...

Oh yeah, you can bet that we would have packed up the kids if they hadn't been having so much fun! I don't like to keep them out if they are tired, cranky, etc. Then they are definitely shipped off and tucked in! It was watching two little girls twirling on the dance floor at 6:00, getting dragged away (unhappily) to get them home. I almost think the parents use it as an excuse not to have to be with us. It's all becoming so clear now!

Alpha DogMa said...

I'm pretty much in to anarchy at least when it comes to schedules. My kids are really flexible, but so is our schedule, this will doubtless change next year when DrKnow starts school and we can't sleep in till 10 AM on a Wednesday. I've been known to use my kids as a crutch to get out of social commitments.

Michelle said...

How funny that I had just asked in your other pictures if you were able to see the Stanley Hotel and that is where the wedding actually was! How neat to be married there!

I can understand your frustration w/said parents. Kayla didn't always go to bed on time while we were away either. Even last night when we had friends over she didn't go to bed until after 9. I do keep more of an eye on her while we're out just because she is a wanderer, and I can't "trust" her not to get into something she shouldn't be because she is way too curious and explores everything!

nikkis30by30 said...

I am SO that in home care provider that bubandpie posted about!!! Our motto is: The dirtier the bathtub at the end of the day, the better the day!!

Such a touchy subject, I know EXACTLY where your rant came from and you know that I agree with everything that you said. (Even though by the time I got here, it was deleted) We have talked about this specific situation and the others that it has stemmed from and well.... live and let die, right?? Look at how wonderful your babies are. And I mean that. They are by far two of my favorite kids in the world! And so happy and fun loving.... just like their mommy and daddy! And think how much more fun they will be at the next family wedding we have for OUR family! It'll be WAY better than the one you were just at!! ;)


Lainey-Paney said...

Oh, how fun to be at that hotel!