It was our 10th anniversary as a family a few days ago. As it was a weekday/school night, we only had a small celebration that evening.
My sister had given us a really nice hand made album that included great photos from each of our 10 years which she creatively laid out throughout the album.
The next evening we went out for a celebratory dinner at a new Caribbean restaurant in our area. (El Buren in Highwood for you locals).
We started out with virgin piña coladas.
My wife had red snapper and Kai enjoyed a seafood entree.
I loved the jerk chicken that I had ordered.
We had seen pictures of the desserts so we saved room. Kai had this coconut cake.
He could only eat a few bites so my wife and I helped and then we took the rest home. I had the cheesecake. We did not have to take any of it home. :)
When we got home after dinner, we watched our wedding video. It has been many years since we watched it. The overriding sound you hear in the first part of the wedding ceremony is of Kai screaming, and it always made my wife too uncomfortable to watch that video.
Kai was only thee years old and our wedding day was not a happy time for him for much of the day. We now better understand how he has difficulty with any disruption in the routine. You can imagine how difficult our wedding day was for him.
We had the wedding at our house which we had bought a few months earlier. We thought that would be where Kai would be most comfortable. But his familiar house was not so familiar on that day. We had taken most of the furniture out of the family room to make room for the chairs where our guests would sit during the ceremony, and where tables would be set up during the reception dinner. Mom was out of the house for most of the morning getting herself ready for the wedding. Many strangers were streaming into the house including caterers, a photographer, and many guests who were unfamiliar to Kai. I was still relatively new in his life myself and had not yet fully bonded with him. So it was very understandable that he would get upset.
Our's was a do-it-yourself wedding in many respects. Besides having it in our home, I had asked my good friend Stuart to officiate the wedding. My nephews, who were in high school at the time, would play the music throughout the ceremony with their violin and viola. My wife's father had decorated sake boxes that we would use during the ceremony, as well as the ones that each guest would receive. My sister applied her artistic touch in creating the name and menu cards for the reception and helping to decorate the goodie bags for the guests.
The plan for the ceremony was that Kai's babysitter would sit with him in the front row, but be ready to take him to another part of the house if he started to get agitated.
Kai was okay for a little while.
But once Mom appeared, and walked down the aisle, Kai must have gotten upset. I'm still not exactly sure what happened, but our babysitter took Kai out of the family room. However, his screams loudly carried back to where we all were.
As Kai's screams continued throughout the first part of the ceremony, I could tell that my friend Stuart was distracted and wondering if he should press on or stop.
Fortunately, Kai eventually quieted down and we were able to complete the ceremony. This next clip is from the last portion of the ceremony.
Once the ceremony was over and he was reunited with Mom, Kai was a happy boy again.
The reception went very well. I know that I was more relaxed then - I think everyone was - and we all had a great time.
(Apologies for the poor quality of the videos. This was another do-it-yourself aspect of our wedding as I had placed a video camera up front. Though I neglected to tell my brother-in-law, the best man, about it. So, during much of the ceremony, he was standing right in front of the camera. Ooops! Still, because our photographer had captured all the right moments so well, I was able to splice his photos on top of the sound to recreate the occasion. The original video I made was of higher quality, but in editing out the clips above I could not find the original copy so had to use a copy of a copy and that made for the degradation of the video).
As the three of us watched the entire video the other night, the uncomfortable feeling that my wife had previously had seemed to be gone. We all able to laugh about Kai's screaming. Well, Kai may have been a bit embarrassed but I think he took it well overall. And seeing the photos of everyone brought back good memories, and melancholy ones as well in some cases.
10 years!?! Hard to believe!
Now wondering what the next ten will bring.