Most dads would probably say the happiest day of their lives was the day their son/daughter was born. Not me.
In fact, that day would not even crack the top 10, were I keeping score. (I am.) That, my friends, was a day filled with anxiety, shock and tension that I don’t care to relive anytime soon. Ultimate result was obviously worth it, but key word there is ‘ultimate.’
Nope, for me, I would choose probably the #2 answer on the Family Feud big board: Show me my wedding day.
Corny, right? Call me a sap, call me a blushing bridegroom, call me a liar. But it really was an awesome, wonderful experience to have nearly every single person we loved in the same room at the same time. Sure, there were the usual undercurrents of bridesmaid drama, the awkward speeches and unfortunate dance maneuvers. That painfully long first dance, the ignored musical playlist. Thankfully, we were so busy soaking up the love we barely noticed most of it; I wouldn’t have changed a thing.
Going to someone else’s wedding often rouses romantical interludes, rekindles fond memories and reignites those arrhythmic feet. It’s a time to cut loose, revel vicariously, mooch off the open bar and clink glasses incessantly. Unless, of course, you show up with a baby. In which case, it’s a very different experience—one with decidedly less revelry, little to no rekindling and even less cutting loose.
It was my wife’s cousin’s wedding. Unbelievably gorgeous setting, a rustic ranch in the hills north of San Diego. Great style, thoughtful decorations, flawless simplicity; the kind of shindig we are rarely privy to, essentially. Yet there we were, in our Sunday best. And then there was Bub, spitting up on it.
So you can add weddings to the list of Things Enjoyed Less With a Newborn, joining dining out, travel, clubbing and skeet-shooting. It’s just not the same. The wedding was called for 4:30, so we’re thinking great, that’s right about the time he’ll be waking up from his second nap. The World According to Bub.
We get there, find our seats, ceremony is short and sweet. So far, so good. Then I start to remember just how long weddings are. There’s the photos, the hors d’oeuvres—cocktail hour. The circulating couple. Then the call to seating, the call to eating, the cleanup. All I wanted to do was show off my new grotesque dance steps, but then come the speeches, the toasts, the first dance, the father-daughter dance, etc. And that’s about the time Bub crapped out.
Actually, we just decided to call the game, rather than go down in a heap of tears and humiliation. Bub’s normal bedtime is 7:30, we were already at 8:00. And we still had to get him back to the hotel, fed, in PJs and down. So we made the decision, put our child first and said our goodbyes, regrets, etc.; of 150 guests, we were literally the first to leave, cakeless and alone.
And that was that. It was like going to a really romantic dinner, but hold the romance, add 19 pounds or so of pure responsibility, a dash of spit-up. Bub had a good time. Of course, Bub also has a good time turning the DVD player on and off repeatedly. Yeah. Next time I think we’ll get a babysitter.