That is the finale to our Independence Day. In Tucson it always takes so long to get to fireworks because the sun doesn't set here in the summer until 8:30PM. Go time for fireworks is 9:15PM, which translates to about a 9:30-10:00PM start time. One year, the year I was pregnant with Christian, fireworks didn't begin until 10:15PM! It was a long and sweltering wait for those things.
July 4th was a bittersweet day for me. I really do enjoy holidays, especially having kids. It makes it so much more fun. There was food and beer and laughing and celebrating. Christian and Lola sported red, white, and blue, you know, 'cause they're patriots. We're blessed enough to have family to celebrate with, so why would July 4th of all holidays be bittersweet?
Well, the 4th of July was the last holiday we celebrated before Christian's accident. I'm normally not that "it was the last time we..." type of person but for some reason, the back burner of my stove top kept nagging at me.
It wasn't necessarily that it was the last holiday prior to the accident. It was more that I was thinking about myself outside of myself. This is how it went in my head:
You dressed Christian in a 4th of July t-shirt you got at Target.
He was all over the place. He ate potato salad.
You only had a few days left. You had no idea what was coming.
The emphasis of thought is really on how much time I had left with him. It makes it sound like he passed away, which he did not. But maybe it was more that I only had a few days left of life as I knew it.
Anyway, the day wasn't somber or sad for me at all and I apologize if that's the impression I'm leaving. The impending anniversary of the accident is approaching so the memory of last 4th of July was most definitely bouncing around in my head.
But I was also reflective. I looked at my three kids and, for a moment, was stricken with a deep gratitude that they were sitting there with me. I think because of how challenging last week was for us and how much better Christian is doing now made me that much more grateful. When you have a child who is fragile, when they're feeling better after some very serious stuff, it puts things in perspective. It makes you so grateful that they are just feeling better.
In fact, Christian was feeling so much better, he had 5mL of water from a syringe by mouth along with some lemon flavored Eegees. So Christian got to participate in some holiday noshing. And I mean actively participate - sticking his tongue out, sucking, and swallowing. Guess he likes Eegees, which is good because we go there...a lot!
And more participating...not always by choice.
If you'll notice, Christian is sticking his tongue out. He was doing that all weekend! He would push his tongue out as if he was trying to say something.
So despite my bubbling back burner, 4th of July fun was had. And now it's metaphor time, folks.
See, that one day I referred to above, the day we waited all day and all night in the sweltering July monsoon heat to see our local fireworks display, it was worth it because 4th of July just isn't the same without fireworks.
I often feel like this journey is that day - waiting and waiting and waiting, in the sweltering heat...and finally...some fireworks, sometimes a small display, sometimes a grand display, but always fireworks.
And I don't care how long we have to wait.