Honest Motherhood: Two weddings and a one year old

 It’s been one of those weeks where I don’t feel I’ve stopped once for air. The Garwood household has been highly socially active. 
We’ve recently returned from a wonderful holiday in Devon where we watched Joel’s sister get married, a perfect coastal wedding with an idyllic ocean backdrop. (Plus, a whole week away from Wokingham.) 
It was a beautiful day, they tied the knot under the sunshine, by a barn on a grassy hill in the Devon countryside. Joel cried and I attempted to stop Leo following suit. It was our first wedding-with-a-baby experience.
All was going well until Leo started whining minutes before the bride was due to arrive. I panicked and gave him an emergency keep-quiet-please feed then assumed he’d settle. He didn’t and I ended up taking him for a crawl-around, out of earshot but close enough that I could just about see the groom’s face. I was quickly joined by other parents and their uncooperative offspring, the Rowdy Babies Club. 
I missed most of the ceremony but caught enough of the groom’s vows to get teary eyed, and returned in time to sing “Let It Be” with the crowd. Throwing confetti on a couple of newlyweds has to rank in the top ten most joyful and uplifting things a human can do. The pure happiness on everyone’s faces.
The rest of the day went swimmingly. Joel was master of ceremonies and as well as telling people where to go, finally got to do the speech he’d been practicing in the car on the way there. He was quite clearly born holding a microphone and I could tell wanted to take it home. 
I barely saw Maia, who seemed to run away with another child every time I approached her. 
“I’m fine Mummy!” 
Leo was a complete hit, stealing the hearts of several women throughout the day and finishing an entire child-sized portion of pasta that his seven year old sister couldn’t manage. He then slept for a while in his pram whilst we danced. Dancing at a wedding is the best kind of dancing and was long overdue. 
I, the sober one, drove home, which was a miracle in and of itself. The dark narrow winding country roads of Devon were enough to make me feel a sense of accomplishment upon arriving back to our accommodation safely.
 
A week later we had our second wedding, an old primary school friend of mine, at the Englefield Estate in Berkshire.We bumped into a couple who seemed vaguely familiar, though we weren’t quite sure from where exactly. It transpired they also happened to be at the Devon wedding the week before. 
Us: “How do you know the bride/groom?!”
“I’m Benj’s cousin! And I shared a flat with Pete!”. (Benj, the Berkshire groom. Pete, the Devon groom). Small world. 
(This seems to happen whenever I drag Joel along to a social occasion, someone will recognise him.)
It was our first child-free wedding and we couldn’t decide how long we were going to leave Leo for. In the end friends persuaded us to stay for dancing, we embraced the spontaneity and I agreed to drive home so Joel could further his inebriation. It was my first time on the motorway. Another driving victory. 
We greeted a grizzly and very much awake Leo at 11:30pm. Which is late for parents. He turned one the following day. We celebrated with both sets of grandparents and his dear great-aunt and her homemade “LEO” cake. It all felt like a delightful blessing. What a year it’s been.