Ah, the Fourth of July. We’ve had some good ones. Last summer, we celebrated youth at the beach and will be doing the same next week. There’s something about sand, sun, and fireworks that make summer summer in a way that it never is up to that point.
A couple of years ago, we rented a house in Gatlinburg, TN and celebrated with my husband’s family. It was even more special because it turned out to be his mother’s last summer. The prior year, we had both families join us in Estes Park and then drove to Bozeman, MT with Robert’s parents to see my mom and her husband. Magical.
I can’t talk about this holiday without sharing how vividly I remember proudly twirling my baton in a second-grade parade. Oh and the high-school aged Fourths – barbeques, friends, and pilfered beer. Sloppy kisses. To me, the Fourth of July is magical. Amazing. It’s summer.
There is, however, one favorite Independence Day that will forever be etched in my mind. The one that changed my life. It’s also the one on which I didn’t see a single firework.
2009. I’d been on pregnancy bed rest for 13 weeks. Bed rest, while of course worth it, is hard. I wanted to escape my pregnant self and run off to the land of whisky and Marlboro Reds. Instead, I caught up on TV. I made it.
And so did my son.
July 4, 2009 was the holiday when I became more than I was. More than I would have ever been.
It was on the Fourth of July that Tucker was born. That was the day that I became a mom.
As those of you who have been through labor know, it’s not a picnic. It’s pretty much the opposite of a picnic because when you’re not writhing in pain, you’re starving and there’s no food allowed. Between nothing happening for hours, a failed, accidental, spinal-tapping epidural that left my ladybits not numb and my right leg so numb that I couldn’t move it, excitedly calling friends and family, and those horrifying contractions, well. There are moments from the experience that have become lost to me. It’s hard to imagine now that it really hurt thatbad. Other snippets remain crystal clear. Here are a few of them.
Driving to the hospital in awe that on our way home, we’d be three. No longer two. A family.
Yelling at the man who tapped my spinal column to get his boss, who was a bit late to the party at that point. Poor Robert having to hold my hands while a contraction ripped through me, sitting up, while they tried to get the epidural right. Robert asking why my blood pressure was 184 and the nurse who answered, “Oh it’s fine. It’s just the pain.” (Just the pain?? Fuck.)
Peeing on the doctor while trying to push. Farting and smacking Robert in the chest when he giggled.
Reminding Robert to watch Tucker come out, him not wanting to, and then thanking me that he did, later. Robert running – actually running – around the bed to admire his son and forgetting me, lying there. And me, being okay with that.
Holding Tucker, naked, against my chest.
How my heart grew. The awe.
My baby boy. I’ve always loved the Fourth of July. It is now my son’s day, and I love it in a way that I’d never have imagined long ago drinking beer and sharing sloppy kisses. The fireworks hold magic for me. But. To see fireworks through my little boy’s eyes after singing him the Happy Birthday song, washing cake icing from his hair, and getting all of my sloppy kisses for the rest of time from his sweet, sticky self… Well.
All of the Fourths of July are my favorite.
The below photos represent each birthday and Fourth of July, in succession – two each.
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. The sentence is “The best Fourth of July I’ve ever had is…” Your lovely hosts:
Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic (Twitter, Facebook)
Can I get another bottle of whine? (Twitter, Facebook)
Mommy, for Real (Twitter, Facebook)
Dawn’s Disaster (Twitter, Facebook)
Friends. For those of you who hung in there while Finding Ninee experienced some crap loading issues this week, I apologize and thank you. Thank all of the alls for Julie who runs Fabulous Blogging for helping me out last night, right then. She fixed Finding Ninee. She was patient, and kind.