Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me (and America)

I have the best birthday on the calendar – July 4th. Think about it. It’s a holiday, so (as long as you’re in America) you are guaranteed to be off work, no matter what day it falls on. BUT it’s not a gift giving holiday, so you never get gypped on gifts. Everyone loves to party on the fourth, everyone loves to barbeque on the fourth and THERE ARE FIREWORKS.

Admit it – it’s awesome.

What’s not so awesome is this slow creep towards 30. Yesterday was my 28th birthday. Not a milestone year, but inching up there. Nevertheless, this birthday was special, because I got to share it with Larkin. Oh, he was “there” last year. I was on bed rest and unable to attend the official fireworks show, but I hefted myself out to the backyard to watch the neighbor’s illegal show. Larkin tossed and turned in my belly, kicking me solidly every time a firework went off.

I remember vividly slapping at mosquitoes and watching my stomach roll, and marinating in the hopes of the forthcoming year. Except for the joy of the baby, though, all the hopes I had for my 27th year were pretty well dashed.

Excepting the birth of Larkin, 27 was not a happy year. It was fraught with financial hardships, professional setbacks (for both Jonathan and I), and rocky relationships. It was a rather boring rollercoaster ride – the highest peak of my life, surrounded by below-sea level nothingness. Nothing truly DRAMATICALLY bad happened (no family or friends passed away unexpectedly, no one became gravely ill, our son has born fit and healthy), but it was a year that I’m rather happy to see in the rear view.

To ring in my new year, we tromped in to town for the local fireworks show. It was not a well thought out plan. Because of the severe droughts we’ve had in Texas this year, most of the local firework shows were banned. So EVERYONE in the area was coming in to the same location. We had to park at one place and be shuttled in to the park. There, thousands and thousands of people had been celebrating for most of the day. It was a mad house.

We quickly backed out of the park after Larkin almost got his head knocked off by a (allegedly) drunk moron within seconds of us walking in. Instead, we parked ourselves in a grassy area outside of the park where a few other families had gathered to watch the show.

Shortly after we got situated, the first fireworks went off. Larkin’s eyes opened hugely and his mouth fell open as he watched the colorful explosions. He looked at me with an “ARE YOU SEEING THIS?!?” expression, then swiveled his head back to the show. He stared at the entire fifteen minute show with absolute awestruck wonder. When the grand finale started exploding across the sky, I found it impossible to look at anything but the huge smile on his face.

The trip home wasn’t pleasant (ever seen humans being herded?), but it was worth every minute of frustration to see that joyous expression on my baby’s face as he discovered something amazing and new. So, in other words, it was a very fitting ending to the year.

Happy Fourth of July, baby. Happy birthday, me.  

I think this year will be our year!

Gluten free red velvet cupcake... yum!

1 comment:

  1. Happy Birthday! I wish I would have been in town to help you celebrate. I loved your description of Larkin and the fireworks- it's so magical to see things through the eyes of your child- like seeing them for the first time!