Babies, Betties, and Young Dancing Bucks.

I think I had to get that big lump out of my throat so I could come back around and approach this last week from an angle a titch less mushy. We packed a lot into the seven days before Doctor Dash had to go back to Minneapolis and our basic modus operandi was: whatever it is, call us. We’re in. And it turns out, with out the constraints of things like, oh, work and babysitters, you can cook up a whole hell of a lot of fun. 

croninsOn our drive to Michigan we stopped in downtown Chicago for a night and got to hang out with one of my favorite people in the world, my brutha from anotha mutha, my college partner-in-crime: The Fox, his hilarious wife, Sweet Cheeks, and their three adorable kids. We thoroughly fondled the shiny bean in Millenium Park, walked around the city for a while, and had a delicious, albeit chaotic, meal of Spanish tapas at Emilio’s. Our collective six children were rambunctious and lively, but essentially as well behaved as could be expected. I have seen better behaved children, but they’re usually sitting in the shadow of excruciatingly boring looking parents. The first thing Devil Baby and their youngest did when we sat down, was to scurry under the table. We tried half heartedly to get them to come out, but abandoned the notion in favor of a couple pitchers of sangria and some good catch-up chatter. My favorite moment came later in the dinner, when the kids had started to fan out and scuttle around the restaurant: The Fox gingerly lifted the corner of the table cloth and tried to shoo the little ones back under the table. That’s exactly the kind of off-the-cuff, lesser of two evils, short cut, bandaid, whatever works in this moment parenting that we embrace, and precisely what I would expect from my friend who procrastinated his Heart of Darkness paper for so long that he actually entered the heart of darkness, turning the whole thing into a long, drawn out, tortuous extravaganza that still ended in a painful all-nighter. It brought me endless pleasure to watch him wrangle the two year old boy who was determined to give his mother a heart attack by pitching along the sidewalks of Chicago as fast as his short little legs would carry him. It was only a few chaotic, funny hours, but thoroughly soul satisfying. Everything that was quirky and funny about The Fox and Sweet Cheeks before they had kids, inflects their parenting and their family in all the lovely ways you’d hope. And now, we will make a plan to see each other again somewhere with long table cloths and no murderous taxis.

On the morning of the rehearsal dinner, a big shipment of roses arrived at the house, followed by the clicking heels and jingling bracelets of my mother’s best betties who came from Buenos Aires, Laguna Beach, D.C. and right down the road to help her make the flower arrangements. I roses jumped right in, happy to indulge in that loose, winding, gossipy chatter that magically flows from women in a circle, doing something busy with their hands. It’s not something I get to do often, ever really, but boy there is something about it that feels really restorative, really right. Women making tortillas, pounding cassavas, weaving baskets, painting porcelain, quilting, knitting. It’s a tradition to be reckoned with for good reason, and in short order, we had busted out a bunch of beautiful centerpieces. Then we piled into a couple cars and sped off for a quick, relaxing lunch at the club. What a girlie, indulgent, and downright delightful way to spend a morning. I miss hanging out with all these old girls.

Equally as delightful, but hitting other notes altogether, was throwing down with my brothers and their friends. El Maestro de Bife is six years younger than me and Golden is twelve years younger. I’ve met most of their buddies throughout the years, but they were just the little boys slumping guiltily out of our house in backwards baseball caps, the ones who nearly melted of embarrassment at the sight of my pregnant belly in Florida. They were cute, but they were sort of irrelevant. When I was partying, my brothers were kids. When my brothers were partying, I was, um, procreating. In an unfortunate hiccup of chronological irony, I had missed a whole chunk of their life revelry and I hadn’t even realized it. I needed to make up for lost time. In different permutations and combinations of my siblings and their fine feathered friends, we had feasts at my parents house, met them out for drinks, hung out on the boat, drank white wine on the sly at a dad band concert in the park, and reveled at a rowdy house party chez Peppermint Love, all before the actual wedding festivities had even begun.6253_913640524923_2246914_50751725_6559214_n

It turns out everyone has grown up into some serious hotness. They’ve all graduated from college, some grad school, some have girlfriends, some have wives, all appear to have jobs, and moreover, they’ve all grown into their skin. Without exception, they are fun, funny, easy and most importantly, ridiculously good dancers. Here’s a little talked about fact: it does an old lady good to dance with a bevy of young bucks. This is no secret to the dirty old man population, but ladies, I’m here to tell you, it works the other way too. I’m not sure what peculiar confluence of forces turned out such fine dancing lads, but I have yet to meet anyone my age who can throw down like these boys. This is not a criticism. It is a challenge. Prove me wrong friends. (Although I do have to give Doctor Dash props for having made the choice, early on in our relationship, to go from being a non-dancer to a bonafide dancin’ fool for my sake. He’s always game and I love him for that.) 

Moreover, Saint James didn’t leave the dance floor all night long – he was all eyes and ears and smooth little boy moves. He went so far beyond cute little kid dancing at a wedding, showed such promise, such young Jedi powers of concentration that one by one my brothers and their friends shimmied on over, showed him some moves and sent him on his way. It was tutelage at its best, a one-night apprenticeship in the fine art of cutting a rug, and now, so many days later, Saint James is still referring to the wedding as the dance party. Looooove that.

[Note: I would like nothing better than to insert a picture from the dancing portion of the evening, but it turns out that as soon as Larry Lee and his smokin' hot band started playing, I completely lost my wits, abandoning my camera in favor of the dance floor fray. I am hoping someone captured the magic and will share their pictures with me, and if they do, I will share them with you.]

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2 Responses to “Babies, Betties, and Young Dancing Bucks.”

  • Flan Says:

    Great post, Gaby. The entire weekend sounded delightful, and I love the bit about John shooing the kids under the table. I can see it perfectly. And please tell Santi he’s wearing one badass shirt. I’ve been collecting soccer jerseys since, oh well, longer than I care to admit, and Espana, can always be found among my favorites. The team itself, la furia roja, is pretty badass too.

  • charlie Says:

    judsons@continuation.aterman” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñïñ çà èíôó!!…

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