Tonawanda News

Features

June 25, 2013

DOUBLE TROUBLE: 'You walk, you don't run' ... tales from a wedding

Tonawanda News — There comes a time in the life of every parent that you’ll face the prospect of taking your children somewhere said offspring would not, normally, go. 

A time when you just have to take a deep breath and hope you’ve done enough work on the young hooligans — I mean, ladies and/or gentlemen — that they’ll acquit themselves as well as an be expected, and not do things like burp at the table, trip the guests of honor or loudly exclaim at an inopportune moment, “HEY! I gotta use the potty!”

This time came to the Keppeler family a few weeks ago. My boys were the only two children invited by my only brother and his bride to their wedding, an event which was to be a lovely, classy affair at a gorgeous resort out of state. In fact, the younger of the two was asked to be ring-bearer.

I was flattered. I was honored. I was thoroughly looking forward to the event, and very happy for the couple. And, yet, I couldn’t escape one further emotion:

Pure, unreasoning terror.

When you’re a parent, this is pressure. You are now responsible for two of the biggest possible wildcards at the wedding — two little boys, the only two little boys present. It’s like having grenades in your pockets at the ceremony, if grenades can be bribed not to go off by the singular temptation of wedding cake.

So many questions go through your head. Have you impressed the seriousness of the occasion on them? Reminded the suddenly fond-of-potty-humor preschooler what’s appropriate and what’s not? Thoroughly convinced the 8-year-old prone to giggle fits that the middle of the ceremony is NOT a good time? 

And the ring-bearer thing. Where do I begin? I started with one very simple concept, which Sam repeated dutifully every time someone asked him if he knew what to do in his role: “You walk. You don’t run.”

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