Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Brazil Diary - Being in Tia Cela's Wedding

Reading the last few posts, you'd barely believe I'm a mama.  There has been virtually no mention of my kids.  But they're here and I'm thankful for having family and friends who care about us and take the time to invite the kids into their homes and worlds.

Kaio and Nala were invited to participate in Mari's cousin, Tia Cela's, wedding.   I felt honored that she would think of us even though we live so far away.  I also felt a little hesitant about how Kaio would react; he's  such a spaz attack sometimes.  But after spending a month here with Mari's family I'm learning that Mari did so many of the exact same things as Kaio.  

Actually at this same age Tia Cela's mom married and invited Mari to be a paige in the ceremony.  Mari's dad declined, "No that's not a good idea, that won't end well." 
So he attended the wedding as a regular guest.

Then actually at her wedding reception party Mari somehow escaped and left the building.  The whole wedding party came to a hault and turned into a search party.  They found him acrross the street sitting between a couple on bench, interrupting their date.

Soooo when Kaio had a breakdown at the fitting, refusing to try on his suit and Mari and I coaxed and eventually lost our patience.  Tia Cela's mom looked over at Mari and said, "Go easy on the boy, Mari.  You at his age would have been running around the store pulling all the dresses off the racks."

Meanwhile Nala was in princess heaven dressed and getting fitted in her white princess dress.  She just stared wistfully into the mirror.  Then they brought her a crown, which made her 10x more dreamy.  There were three girls and three boys in the wedding.  The seamstress brought Nala's crown out first, and Nala, so precious, asked "where is the other princess's crown?"  We had to pry her dress off her, bribing her with promise of a trip to the ice cream shop.

In the days leading to the wedding, i tried my technique of drawing pictures to prepare and explain the event to Kaio.  I drew him getting dressed in his suit and walking down the isle.  But he just kept angrily insisting that he did not want to be in the wedding and drew big X's over my picture.  

So the night of the wedding I was not expecting much.  Just hoping he would change his mind and man up to the occasion, support Tia Cela and make her a happy bride.  When it was time to get dressed Nala hopped right into her dress, socks, shoes, panties, crown, and ran out to strut around the living room like a Toddlers in Tiaras contestant.  Kaio saw all the attention she was getting and ran off to get dressed too.

Our fabulous head start broke down as both kids eventually revolted and ripped off their clothes!  I think they were hot and stuffy or something.  We convinced Nala to get dressed again, but Kaio threw a fit.  We spent so much time trying to console him that we didn't realize we were running late for the wedding!  Finally, on threat of leaving, he decides he wants to come.  I get him dressed in traffic in the back seat of the car.  Then this happened:

I guess that's what happens when a wedding is scheduled for 7:30pm.  We arrived at quarter to 8.  And almost no one was there....  Yup, that's Brazilian time, folks are at least an hour late.  

The wedding ceremony began a little after 8:30 and to my complete surprise Nala ended up being the one who chickened out.  

She'd done great in rehearsal.  But the mix of sleepy, bright lights, and lots of fancy dressed people scared her like a turtle into its shell.  She completely refused to walk down the isle no matter what we said.  

Kaio, however, insisted that he wanted to go. 

And he went even though his date, like Nala, also became to timid to walk and ditched him at the isle.  So he took hands with Tia Cela's sweet younger sister.  

I was near the end of the isle and when he saw me he burst into tears, "I don't want to be married!"
"But Kaio, you're not married yet.  It's Cela's wedding, not yours."
Still crying, "I don't want to be married."

All this time we thought he was being reclusive, but really, he thought by walking down the isle he was getting married and he just didn't want to get married.   Pretty amazing that a boy, who's only 5 years old, can have such an aversion to marriage already.  We're thinking that something must have happened in a past life!

So he calmed and we went off to the reception where he spent the night bouncing from table to table visiting with the pretty ladies.  Then he spent the second half of the evening following the bride around, holding her hand, trying to dance with her when the groom wasn't looking...  

I kept thinking: if we make it through the night without history repeating itself and him escaping the building and stopping the party, then tonight is a success.   (Mari's mom made sure to check with the door man that they weren't going to be letting any kids out without parent's in tow.)

When Nala saw Kaio mingling with the bride, she honed in as well.  My kids followed the white princess around from table to table, trying to sneak into all the photo ops.  Tia Cela later came up to me to comment on how great they were and what positive energy they brought to the party.   

It felt really good to hear that.   

Being here with Mari's family and hearing the stories of the trouble he and his cousins got into, well it's exactly the antidote i needed for all the uncertainty I've had as a mom.  The 'is this normal?' feeling i got around some other kids.   Kaio's pretty different from some of the other boys I know in the US, but he's no great difference from his dad.  And that's a wonderful, fabulous thing in my book, and the best I could hope for!   

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