A brief glimpse into the daily happenings of a 6-year-old, his new baby brother and his family.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Ring Bear

Today, a little story from the "Ummmm... are you SURE?" file. It's also cross-referenced with the "Do you know what you're getting yourself into" file and the "Ben needs a sedative, Mommy needs a happy pill" file.

In December, Wendy and Justin took a trip to Paris. They got engaged and decided to have the wedding exactly one year later... in Florida. HOORAY! A trip to Florida in December? Sign me up. Then, they asked Ben to be the ring bearer. I know, my ADORABLE kid in a tuxedo. I had similar warm and fuzzy thoughts for about 3 seconds. Yikes. My child? My mostly noisy, very funny, often crazy child? Maybe he can be the first sleeping ring bearer. He's totally adorable and well-behaved when he's asleep.

When I asked Ben if he'd like to be a ring bearer, his face lit up. Too much.
B: You mean a BEAR? And I will wear a costume?
H: Well, sort of. You'll get to wear a tuxedo. But it's not a "BEAR" it's a "BEAR-ER".
B: (furrows his brow) But I will be a bear?
H: No, honey. "Bearer" means you carry something. Your job is to carry the rings.
B: Rings? Like Saturn?
H: No, love. Rings. Like on fingers. Like Mommy's ring. See? (pointing to my ring)
B: But mommy, I'm NOT SUPPOSED TO EVER, NEVER TOUCH YOUR RING. I'm sorry I touched your ring and your bracelets. (see side note)
H: (rolling my eyes) It's going to be so fun to be a ring bearer. Guess what else? The wedding is in Florida.
B: At Aunt Nancy's beach?
H: No.
B: But that's not Florida then.
H: Maybe we'll talk about it again later.

(Side note: One recent evening, I gave Ben a bath and stepped out of the bathroom for a minute. When I returned, my Pandora and Troll charms and bracelets, my wedding ring, and my watch were all floating at the bottom of the tub. I snapped. I yelled, "What in the hell are you doing?" Ben cried. A lot. Ben ran to Don as he repeated--through sobs-- "Mommy is so mad at me. So mad. She's really, really mad at me." About 30 minutes later, I apologized for yelling and Ben promised that he would NEVER, EVER, EVER touch my jewelry again.)

A few weeks ago, a box from Amazon.com appeared on our doorstep. This is cause for great celebration at Casa de Mayfield because Ben and I love getting "stuff." It was addressed to Ben so I helped him open the box. Inside, he found 3 books from Wendy and Justin about being a ring bearer. The Ring Bearer is a rhyming book that explains the basics of the job. Ben liked it, except for the kissing part. 10 Cool Things About Being a Ring Bearer really caught his attention when we got to #4 (The Ring Bearer gets to walk in front of the bride... "I'm the leader?"), #7 (...Then we all went to the reception where there was lots of yummy food.. "Like Root Beer and cake?") and #8 (A Ring Bearer gets a gift from the groom... "Like Blaster Michelangelo or Motorcycle Leonardo?"). He was also excited by the idea that he would get to "stay up late"-- as if that is different from any other night around here.

By far our favorite book is The Ring Bear. Evidently Ben is not the first kid to hear "bear" from "bearer." Awesome. This will explain it so much better than my previous attempt. It was written by a woman in Fremont, NE (home of the famous Katie Henricks Davis AND Irv's Sandwich shop). This was perfect.

The story goes like this:
Little Robert loves bears. Real and stuffed-- even graham cracker bears. He is so excited to be the ring bear in his Aunt Jane's wedding. Robert practices carrying a plate of peas (oops, they fall on the floor). No problem, the rings will be attached to the pillow. He finds out he'll wear a suit. A black and white one.. just like a panda. Robert preps for the wedding by growling at the dog, eating berries and honey (grapes and apple juice). He crawls around the house with a pillow on his back carrying his glow-in-the-dark ring. (At this point in the story, Ben is barely breathing he's so engrossed in the story.)

It's all fun and games until the rehearsal. Robert is crushed to find out his black and white suit with a tail is a tuxedo. And why on earth would they go to a church? A bear should perform at the zoo or a park. That's when Robert has a meltdown. He stomps. He pouts. He refuses to be in the wedding. (At his point in the story, I'm a little worried about how closely life might imitate art.) He tells Aunt Jane someone else can be the ring bearer. He's NOT interested. But, Aunt Jane doesn't want someone else and Robert growls but agrees. The next day, Robert wore his suit and was the "best little ring bearer". At the reception, he had fun growling at the flower girl and hiding in a bear cave (under a table) crawling around on the floor. Everyone agreed he was the best "ring bear" they had ever seen.

We finished reading the book for the 3rd or 4th time and I decided to have a little comprehension conversation with Ben.
H: What did Robert love?
B: Bears. All kinds.
H: Right! What was he going to do at the wedding?
B: Be a ring bear.
H: Good. But, was her really a bear?
B: No. He didn't get to.
H: What else happened?
B: Well, he wanted to be a panda, but he had to wear something else. There was no growling at the church. He was MAD.
H: But then what happened?
B: Ummm.. he did it.
H: Right! See, Robert was a ring bear-ER. Not a bear. Just like you'll be a ring BEARER.
B: No way. I'm not Robert. I'm Benjamin Charles Mayfield. I'm going to be a bear.

Well, back to the old drawing board. Maybe if we watch a video of Riley being a ring bearer it will sink in. If not, I hope Wendy and Justin are prepared for a darling boy in a tuxedo growling at the guests.

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