How do you celebrate weddings?
A 10- year-old turned to me proudly in the school playground this morning and told me she, big sister and their dad were going to watch THAT wedding (ie, Will and Kate) near Buckingham Palace. I felt equal parts envy and happiness at her excitement, and within a few seconds we were discussing what to wear, best viewing spots (I’d been to the same area to watch the Marathon a fortnight ago) and could have probably discussed this for a lot longer if the dreaded bell hadn’t been rung and off the kids went into lessons.
It was a reminder how important it is to be enthusiastic and follow up children’s passions with questions, rather than dismissing it all with a cynical nod or a snide comment. Which I certainly would have done during my teens, 20s and 30s!
Where to watch?
As we haven’t organised a street party (our’s is a fixture in July, and frankly two in a year is a bit many!) what to do about the wedding that’s the talk of the world, and has given us another long weekend? Well, Lola, 12, plans to join her 14-year-old friend, Corinna, to provide running commentary for the TV shots in a London sitting room. I may do this too. And all because I want to watch the whole of the wedding, so expect TV to be a better way of not missing a thing. In contrast Pete thinks being there (eg, for a West Ham match or the Olympics) is the only approach. It’s also why he is not keen to hang around the Mall waiting for a horse and cart to go by flecked with Royal dust, London smog and Twitterers mixing cheesey happiness and grumpy troll soundbites.
My mum remembers sitting on shoulders of her nanny (or the nanny’s boyfriend) for a royal funeral – the only way a tot can see – and also being pushed to the front by adults, again for a better view, at another royal occasion. I hope my attempt to give my princesses big history memories – such as taking them to see Westminster Abbey a month ago – will stick in their brains. At least they know where the action is.
Even so, secretly, I think, I’d like one of the kids to say, “Let’s go see what’s happening…”
For the everyday, as well as celebrations, have a look at the thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to enjoy life with children in my book, Homemade Kids. And if you are tempted to organise a street party – not for the wedding – just for you and your neighbours, have a look at Streets Alive which has brilliant info to make it a far easier task, see here.