Thursday, March 05, 2009

Weddings & Marriage

K & O are suddenly -- and I mean very suddenly -- totally completely interested in weddings and marriage. They have never been to a wedding. And up until about a week ago they had virtually no awareness of weddings/marriage (at least as far as I could tell). This was the kind of thing that was so (so, so, so!) off their radar. But suddenly, like literally overnight, they became totally intrigued. It happened in a precise moment.

It was Friday afternoon. I end work early on Fridays to pick the boys up from school at 1:00. We came home, it was a rainy day, I put Meera down for her nap, and the boys and I started baking. We made "magic bars" (7 layer bars) for Owen, and we made blueberry muffins for Kyle. While we were waiting for them to bake we sat down together at the table to have a drink of juice. Kyle started it. He said something along the lines of, "When me and Owen grow up we will not live in this house." This is not an unusual sort of thing for Kyle to think about/say. I said, "Oh! Where will you live?" He said something about how they are going to live in New York City and that I will come visit them there a lot. I said something about 'I wonder if you'll live just the two of you, or if you'll live with other people too?' And he looked at me in total shock: "Who would live with us????!" I said something like, "Well, I don't know, maybe you guys will want to get married someday?" "Who will I marry?" asked Kyle. "I don't know," I said, "maybe a nice man or a nice woman that you decide you want to spend the rest of your life with." Slightly disturbed, he said, "But I want to spend the rest of my life with Owen." I remember there was a pause there. And then Kyle said something like, "Wait, you married Papi?" And I said "Yes." And that is how it began. Something clicked. They had lots of questions.

I went and found a framed photo from the day Braydon and I got married, and brought it to the table. They've seen photos from our wedding before, but K & O have never been interested. But now they were. They wanted to know all about it. What a wedding is, what marriage is, who is at a wedding, what happens at a wedding, etc. They wanted to know about these things generally, and they wanted to know specifics about our wedding. We talked about it awhile. (Just for the record: I told them "two people get married when they decide that they love each other so much that they want to live together and spend the rest of their lives together" and I told them that "any two grown-up people can get married." Note: I'm 100% counting on full and total legally sanctioned marriage in all 50 states for any/all people of any/all sexual orientation by the time K & O are "grown-up.")

And then... I asked them if they wanted to watch a video of Mommy and Papi getting married. A VIDEO?!!! WHOO HOOOO yes-sir-iiiiiii they wanted to watch it! Such a thing exists?!! Let's get to it ASAP. And so we did. We sat there, in the family room, on the couch, and watched the wedding video together. The entire thing. They were enthralled. They were giddy. They were beside-themselves-with-excitement. They were completely in love with seeing me in a white gown and veil. The veil, especially, was a huge deal. About halfway through the video I offered to show them the actual veil (I have always had it hanging on my bureau mirror in our bedroom but apparently neither of them had ever noticed it before). We paused the video and ran upstairs. They had me wear the veil, sitting on the couch, for the remainder of the wedding video. Once the video was over they each got to try the veil on. Kyle loved it but was too nervous he'd ruin it or break it or wreck it. Plus, he said, "it itches my head!" Owen, though, wanted nothing more than to wear that veil for the rest of his life. Itchy head was sooooo worth it! (Ah, learning it young-- the price of beauty!) The magic bars and muffins were long done by now. Here they are, sampling their baked goods:

Over the weekend the wedding-craze became even more entrenched. They wanted, badly, to see me in my actual wedding gown. They were thrilled to discover that it was stored (unbeknownst to them) in an air-tight-sealed-garment box underneath Owen's bed. I was very tempted to just rip it open and put the dress on for them. But Braydon, always the voice of reason, was very against the idea because he didn't want to ruin the preservation seal. We looked, for a long time, at the dress in the box (luckily there is a see-through plastic top on the box). The boys were into it. When they got under the bed to push it back under there, Owen discovered another box. In it: wowie!--the shoes I wore on our wedding day!! Braydon agreed that the shoes were fine to pull out. This --one pair of wedding shoes, two ecstatic boys-- started what is quite possibly the closest we've ever come to World War III in our house. I solved it quickly, though, by digging deep into my closet and pulling out a pair of "Bridesmaid Shoes" that I had worn in a friend's wedding. The "wedding shoes" --both pair-- have been a huge hit ever since:

Funny little tidbit to note: Kyle is so strangely smart sometimes (like, literally, smart about strange things). Within less than one minute of putting my wedding shoes on he said, "These shoes are soooooo beautiful!! But Mommy! Could you even see them with your beautiful wedding dress so long?! Could anyone even see them????!" "No," I said, "you couldn't even see them because of my long dress." (Alas, my son! The sheer nonsensical intricacies of bridal fashion!!!!) "Oh Mommy," he said, "WHAT A SHAME!" (Yes, my dear, WHAT A SHAME!)
I could tell a million stories of what we've seen and heard this past week re: weddings and marriage. But I'll end with just one~~
Tuesday morning, as usual, the boys each woke up and came into bed with us. We were all four lying in bed snuggling before the start of the day (Meera still sleeping, of course). K & O were in between Braydon and I. We were all silent. And then K & O started talking to each other in sweet, muffled, morning voices. They are still only 4 years old, still young enough to be completely unselfconscious that Braydon and I are right there hearing every single word.
K: Owen, when we grow up, I want to marry you.
O: Me too Kyle. I want to marry you too.
K: And we will live together forever.
O: That's right.
K: You can wear the dress and the veil, like Mommy. I can wear the black things like Papi.
O: O.k.
K: And we will live in a house together, right Owen?
O: Yes, that's right. And we will have our children. We will be the Papi's.
K: Yes, we will have many children. How many children will we have?
O: Eighty. We will have eighty children.
K: Yes, eighty children, adopted from Africa.
O: Yes, that's right.


Haitian-American Family of Three said...

This is an amazing story to remember for the boys when they are "all grown up" the last part where they are speaking about the future and their plans was absolutely beautiful. I love your boys!

Heather said...

Seriously adorable and wonderful and excellent. What a great, great story. And twins just melt my heart. Singletons generally want to marry mommy or daddy but those twins, they just love each other so much who can stand it?

Great story.

ShannonC said...

ok.. never mind. THIS is my favorite post ever!!

Half-Pint said...

I love that you do not hesitate to let your kiddo's know they can marry the person they fall in love with and want to spend their life with - regardless of what sex they are. We are doing the same - although some ppl find it a bit off putting. Good for you!! and Good for everyone else who encounters their open minded spirits!

MorMor said...

How cute is this blog post! Heather - take the dress out from under the bed and try it on. What are you saving it for?!
I love, love the last photo.

Holli said...

LOVE AND MARRIAGE!!! So sweet! Your boys are ADORABLE and SO SMART! Congrats early to you as a Granny of 80 grandkids!;)
such a fun post!

Mayhem said...

Oh, how funny and sweet!

It IS a shame about those wedding day shoes! :)

Heather said...

MorMor/Mom--- yes, my thoughts exactly -- just take it out and put it on- what are we waiting for?! But you know your son-in-law!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He was ADAMENT that we don't take it out of the box! It is HIM that you need to convince!!!!!!!!!!!! (and lord knows if anyone can convince him it is you, not me!)

Molly C said...

Ok, so this is the cutest thing I've ever read in my entire life. and that first picture, oh man. I'm having a cuteness overload.


PS I rarely comment but this was just TOO cute to resist. I wish them luck with their eighty children!

elle said...

As a queer woman, I am so grateful and so moved to read about how you are presenting the concept of marriage and weddings (garments included) to your boys in such a caring, respectful, and ungendered way. That you would say something as simple as "a man or woman you want to spend the rest of your life with." Because, just like many heterosexual couples, that's just the way it happened for me, too. I met the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

Also, I have no doubt Kyle and Owen will spend the rest of their lives together. And how simple and beautiful is that, too.

Ani said...

this is one of the cutest, sweetest stories i've heard in a while. those 80 children will be blessed to have such wonderful papis :)

Patricia said...

The next time we vote you can put this one down as my favorite!

SE'LAH... said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
honor22 said...

Opps! You're supposed to do something special with the dress? 18 years later mine is in a garment bag hanging in my closet.

What is Braydon saving your dress for? Open it up! We all want to see photos!


Single PAP said...

that is the most loving photograph. brought tears to my eyes..

Roxann said...

Heartwarming! Braydon: let Heather open that box! Love u all !!!

Heather said...

Great post! But I just have to comment on that breathtaking photo of the boys -- so beautiful!!!


Anonymous said...

What an adorable post. We absolutely loved it. So very inquisitive. The last picture is by far one of our favorites.

Ohhh my 80 kids. I am just worn out thinking about it. K & O are going to be such wonderful parents.

Love & Hugs,

Julie said...

Could you just move in with me and raise my children when I finally have them? Seriously. You teach your children all the right things about love, marriage, muffins, equal rights, adoption. They are just lovely, lovely little souls-all three of them.

Jess said...

You really are the best mom ever!

M and M said...

How precious and tender they are.

laurafingerson said...

I agree with everyone else -- this is one of the best posts ever. Too cute about how they were so enthralled with your wedding and the "dress up". I can just see their faces when they realize that The Dress had been under Owen's bed this whole time! And too funny about learning about the pain (itchy veil) and silliness (can't even see the awesome shoes) of women's fashions. And, as a parent of twins, I love that they just love each other so much. They can start WWIII over shoes *and* they love each other dearly. How much they learn.

Malia'sMama said...

I didn't read the post yet b/c my eyes are seriously killing me, but almost peed myself when I scrolled down and saw the "bride". They are tooooo much!! :)

kelly said...

I have two adopted children too and my older son has decided that he wants his sister to live in the house next door to him in our neighborhood. One night at bedtime, he realized that one day he would not see his sister every day anymore. He cried for awhile and then came up with this solution. His father and I think it's a great one!

I LOVE reading your blog. My children are biracial and my husband and I are white. And our son is "spirited" as well! I wouldn't have it any other way.