Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Little Helpers

I spent the past week helping get ready for my sister's wedding; a lot of fun but tons of work since my family wanted to do most of the things themselves and this included making the flower arrangements.  I now know how to make a hand-tied bridesmaid bouquet and I'm very proud of myself, I must admit.

Among my lesser known accomplishments this past week was sorting colored gravel.  And, I'm sure, this makes no sense as to how this could possibly be wedding related so let me explain.  My sister and her husband wanted to get married outside and due to the possibility of a breeze, we couldn't count on the unity candle staying lit.  So, she decided to have a sand ceremony in which both she and her husband poured sand from two vases into one to symbolize the irrevocable joining of their lives.  I mean, who really wants to separate out grains of sand? 

But, we got a little too creative.  I found a black vase and a matching white one and since their colors were primarily black and white, we thought this would be really cute for each of them to have a different color vase.  This idea was carried out further by matching the sand color to the vase so it would match their house later since they are also decorating with black and white.  But, we were concerned that mixing black sand with white sand would not give us black and white sand but gray sand.  So, my solution was to use really small gravel, the size that you would put in a fish tank or something.  Problem solved, or so I thought. 

While white gravel was available, straight black was not.  So, my mom and my sister bought the black and blue gravel mix.  With everyone else busy, I offered to separate the colors thinking it would be easy.  Pull out the blue pieces, deposit the black ones in the vase.  And it would have been if not for two very special little people desiring to "help".

Ethan, while extremely proficient with colors, just preferred to run his fingers through the piles and mix them up again.  He is my kinesthetic learner, can you tell?  And, two and a half year old Luke really wanted to do what I was doing and poured gravel into the vase.  Good, except that particular gravel had not yet been sorted and so I got to sort it out again. 

And again. 

And yet again. 

He thought my screaming in horror after each deposit was really funny and this just made him giggle all the more.  So, our noise caused my husband and grandma to join in and sort gravel with me. 

More than an hour after I started, we finally filled up the black vase with the black gravel!  Yeah!  So, I went over to my mom, proud like a kindergartener because I could sort colors, I showed her that it was all done and happily shook the vase to settle the gravel down a little bit before packing it up in a box to take to the wedding. 

Gravel went everywhere. 

So, I cleaned it up again, humbly this time. 

Later, at the wedding, I was thrilled to see the black and white still discernible as it was mixed in the clear glass vase exactly as my sister wanted.  But, I'm sure my parents are still finding black gravel all over their house, a gift from me and their grandsons, aka little helpers!

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