Every night I camp under the photos in the upstairs hallway and stage-direct the evening choreography. You- go get a pullup and pajamas. You- brush your teeth. Now you bruth your teeth. You- pick your books and get in bed. Why aren't you in pajamas? What do you mean you can't find your book? We read it last night. Look next to your bed. Did you look next to your bed? Go get pajamas!
The photos are a set of six images from our wedding. The girls ask, tell me about when you were married in that one. And tell me about getting married in that one. Now tell me that one. We've been married only once, but the girls expect six separate stories befitting, as they see it, six separate occasions. In between locating toothpaste and helping to brush back molars, I tell the stories that they thoroughly know. I tell them about the dancing and the wine and our friends and the plastic leis they draped around us and how we had so much fun, we forgot to take them off. I tell them how much fun we had.
We haven't talked about the pictures much lately, until this past weekend came and went and we're marrying all day long. L jumped in my lap tonight and pretended she couldn't put on her pajama pants without help and asked me to tell her about the pictures.
And I know this makes no sense, because we were married more than six years before she was even born, but I squeezed her and hugged her and almost said, "I wish you could have been there. You would have had so much fun." And that's a crazy thing: to imagine her at an event before she even existed, but it's true all the same.
That girl loves a celebration, and having her there, the way she wiggles to the music and jumps when she's happy and wears her joie de vivre on her naked arm because she still doesn't have her jammies on, it would have been so much fun.