I look at everyone's lovely, happy, smiling pictures on Facebook and I can't help but wonder what their 4th of July was really like. Was it all sunshine and rainbows as it was portrayed? Or were the good moments captured on film and the rest swept under the carpet? I'm not gonna do that. We've got some jolly, happy pictures too, but they don't tell the whole story.
Fourth of July has always been one of my favorite holidays. And maybe that's the problem. Maybe I expect too much.
I've spent the last couple of weeks planning out activities and buying fun treats, glow sticks, fireworks, and making desserts to ensure we have the optimal amount of fun possible for the big day. But, and I'm sure you've already got this figured out, the optimal amount of fun was not had. It was not a great day.
It started out pleasantly enough. Todd headed out early to play golf with his uncles who were in town for the holiday. Seeing as how Todd enjoys a 3 hour parade as much as he enjoys getting punched in the gonads a dozen times I was happy to give him an out. I told Todd to go and have fun and I would take the kids to the parade.
The kids and I dressed up in red, white, and blue and took off for the parade. We were thrilled to find a prime spot sitting on the curb in the shade so that we wouldn't be squinting and sweating the whole time but we soon changed our minds. It was only about 62 degrees outside and a breeze was coming off the lake. We were freezing. I even had to run back to the car to get another blanket to cover up with. It was pretty ridiculous. The kids were whiny, Joey was being greedy and mean, Ben was annoying with his 18 billion questions a minute, Tommy was a grumpy pants, Grace was speaking at a DEFCON 1 level (why are you SO LOUD, little girl?), and I was super short on patience and barking at everyone. Snarl, snap, gripe, zing! Add to that the sassy little girls that were
(The only way I could get any pictures was to get up, sidestep the little girls, and stand in the middle of the street.)
The kids were in a great mood because I was trying to be as fun as possible and I let them gorge themselves on their parade candy. They couldn't believe their good fortune as I usually limit the candy intake to just a few pieces. And, as luck would have it, because we left the parade a little early we got a fantastic parking spot and great seats on the boardwalk to watch the races.
Anywho, oddness aside, it all went pretty well. We went home and had lunch and because of too many late baseball games and too many early mornings the kids were beat. I suggested we all lie down for a little bit since we were going to be up so late at night watching fireworks. The kids were surprisingly obliging and we all took little naps.
And then all hell broke loose.
I won't get into all of it (it was mostly feeling like I have to be on constant alert and can't trust the household to run without me for 15 minutes without everything and everyone going down in flames) but the end result was me throwing my hands up in the air, quitting, and leaving. For all of an hour. I felt like getting a few drinks in a bar but instead I went and sat in the cemetery at my dad's grave and then vacuumed out my van. I'm a rebel, people! Don't push me over the edge. I might just go sit in a cemetery and then clean when I'm done.
I was still angry when I got home that I gave everyone the silent treatment. And when we went to the fireworks I didn't even take my camera. That'll show 'em!
As it turns out it may have been one of the better times we've had at the fireworks. And I have zero pictures to document it because I was too busy punishing everyone. Punishing them by not talking and not taking pictures. I sure know how to stick it to 'em, don't I? Actually, I think they were all in heaven. Mom's not nagging or taking pictures? Awesome! I am so smart sometimes.
By the time the fireworks were over I was in a much better mood. I think it may have had to do with the cocktail I made myself beforehand and took to the fireworks with me in my travel mug (the travel mug my bff gave me that says, "Today I shall think evil thoughts and try not to say them out loud"). Might have been one of the smarter moves I'd made all day.
Everyone was happy and back on track when we got home and I even let the kids have treats and set off some fireworks of our own outside.
Kisses and hugs were given at bedtime and all was peaceful. All's well that ends well, right?
And that is how life is. Yin and yang. Good and bad. Push and pull. Happy and crappy.
We get up in the morning and we try it all over again. We try to have a fun day. We try to speak with kindness. We try to be examples. We try not to drive each other crazy. It isn't always easy. Many times it is really hard. You have in your mind this vision of how it is going to go. How grateful they will be for all the hard work you do and all the ways you show them you love them. But often it goes unnoticed. It is typical. It shouldn't be taken personally but I guess sometimes I just can't help myself.
Today we tried again.
But we just keep trying.