I could hear the rustling from the room next-door and glanced at my watch: 6:30 am. I groaned to myself but there was a certain inevitability about it
The kids bounded into our room moments later. “Is Uncle Steve here? Is he here?” They asked excitedly.
“Yes, he got here last night after you’d gone to bed.”
They dashed out and into the lounge of our tiny flat in London to pounce on the poor Uncle Steve. Not only had he spent the night on a sofa bed, and was being woken at a totally unreasonable hour but it was also the day he was getting married.
The children were playing a star role; indeed, a large part of our problem in the lead up had been explaining to my daughter that it was Aunty Gaby’s big day, not hers. They were, however, going to be central figures – Meri was a flower girl and Arun was going to be the only little boy there.
A few hours later they were dressed up looking delightful – Meri in her pink flower girl dress and Arun in a matching pink waistcoat and tie. Indeed, as an usher, my own suit and tie matched Arun’s and throughout the day he shadowed me, effectively acting as the fifth, smallest and certainly cutest usher.
Meri walked down the aisle beautifully, leading the way for her radiant Aunty Gaby with the other two little flower girls. Later on Arun befriended and charmed the band leader by bringing his little blue ukulele to the front of the stage and dancing and playing along to all the songs. So much so that, as Arun had to leave to go home to bed at a quarter to nine, the brilliant Brad announced to the audience, “A big shout out to Arun who is now leaving the building!” He got a huge cheer.
As I sat with them in the back of a taxi back home I turned to my children on either side of me.
“Arun, Meri, did you enjoy the wedding?”
“Yes.” They both nodded emphatically.
“What was the best bit?” I asked them.
“When I walked down the aisle,” my daughter answered.
“When I played ukulele with Brad,” my son answered.
I could do nothing but laugh. The little matter that their darling uncle had married a wonderful girl who was already a phenomenal aunt to them had been completely lost.
“Arun, Meri,” I looked at them both. “Can you say narcissistic?”