I knew the weekend was going to be nuts. Both of our families were coming and they are very, very different. Plus our house is small and there is not a ton to do in Eugene, not to mention that the star of the show has his own schedule and needs. In order to make it more manageable, I made sure to pump extra milk so we could give him a bottle when needed. I didn't know where we would be or who would be holding him so I thought this was a smart plan.
Things seemed to work very well for Friday evening and Saturday. We found great places to eat, all hung out at a park, and somehow crammed into our tiny apartment when need be. Then sometime on Saturday night after everyone went back to their hotel rooms I became a crazy person. We had taken great care in planning the menu for a luncheon afterward on Sunday and Jim and I each had our plans worked out. Out of necessity and sanity I had already abandoned half my plans (i.e. photobooth) and was determined to make the rest go off without a hitch.
I stayed up until 1:30 a.m. getting cupcakes made, ironing tablecloths, setting up a basket for serve ware and dishes, getting condiments into attractive serving dishes so that we wouldn't have plastic containers all over the place, and setting out all the attractive serving bowls and platters that food would need to be transferred to the following day. In my mind it was all ready to go and would be uber simple to get set up. I had rambled on all night long about what needed to be done and felt I'd made it as easy as possible. Besides, I'd be there to do it all myself...
But then Tate didn't sleep through church like normal. He was awake and starving after church was out so instead of being the one to set things up, I was holed up in my bedroom trying to keep my baby somewhat content. Naively I assumed other people would be able to read my mind and know what was already done and what things just needed to be relocated. I had rambled about everything for hours the night before... however I have told Jim that sometimes I just need to talk and he's ok tuning me out. This was one of those instances that had I been listening I would have tuned myself out. As petty as it sounds now, I was really irritated on Sunday when everything I stayed up making sure was done didn't actually help.
When I walked into the community room and saw plastic containers and plastic utensils where I'd already set things up to be served in nice dishes I pretty much lost my mind. This was such a special day to me that I did not want a single thing about it to resemble a tailgate party. When I frantically started trying to redo it all, Jim's dad just said to me "it's only friends and family, nobody cares." He was right of course, but I cared. I still do. Part of me is still irritated that I couldn't plan it all perfectly. Therein lies the key lesson learned from being a parent: you really have no control at all, only the illusion of it.
It stressed me out so much that I have declared I'm not throwing another party at all until we have our own house. Except Ellie's baptism. And probably Aeryn's next birthday. And Jim's graduation. Oh, who am I kidding? I'll probably throw a party next month, just because.
At some point during the whole crazy post sacrament time I realized that we didn't get a picture at the church. Not one. No picture of Tate in his little dress shirt and tie, no picture of our family all together, no pictures of the kids. Basically, no pictures. None. Zip. That was what really made me lose it and I tried desperately to not cry all afternoon from the disappointment.
The reality is that none of it matters. The blessing itself was beautiful. Jim was choked up at the beginning which brought me to tears. Our family was all together and we were surrounded by loved ones. Tate is healthy and happy, and truly, no one would have cared if it did look like a tailgate party. The cousins were all together and running around outside. Some friends and family we haven't seen in a while came by. Everyone doted on our little man. It was a good day.
The next morning, we dressed him up again in his dapper digs and Jim's dad snapped a few pics of our family. Both families headed home and we returned to life as normal. It was a whirlwind, but the things that really mattered were there.