A joyous family wedding brings laughter, tears and, best of all, babysitters to wrangle the kids | Séamas O’Reilly

The boy wears a cute suits and is then dispatched. It’s the best of all worlds

Last week, my sister, Caoimhe, got married, so I was back in Derry with my entire family for the first time in almost a decade. It was a beautiful service, held in a converted barn near our family home. My son chafed at his adorable suit and tie, but we reminded him its charms were for our enjoyment, not his, and he contented himself by playing with his similarly well-dressed cousins. The service was filled with personal touches and several of my siblings got up and sang beautifully. I should clarify they were asked to do so and this was not one last show of one-upmanship within a family so large competition for attention has always been critical.

Despite my own beautiful singing voice, I was instead asked to write and perform some closing words for the ceremony. To the alarm and dismay of my more golden-throated siblings, I wrote a poem that was so good – funny, touching, it rhymed, etc – that I came out very much on top. Sure, my brother, Shane, has a rich baritone, but did he actually write She Moves Through The Fair? No. Whereas I wrote a poem that featured the word Kraftfahrzeug-Hapftpflichtversicherung and less than a dozen of those in attendance seemed confused or sleepy when I did so. Take that, sibs!

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