Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Worst~Best 4th of July

Sometimes I believe I'm cursed. I tell my family this all the time and they just laugh at me. There are times when I really believe this to be true. There are bad things that happen to myself and my family that just don't happen to other people. On top of that, they trend to happen sequentially...as in a downpour.

It is this cursed existence that has caused me to be an obsessive planner. I live my life through a series of quotes and one of my favorites is "If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail". This is why, on the morning of the 4th, I was shaking blankets, washing coolers, packing toys, sticking snacks in baggies, checking lists, and doing everything possible to ensure that myself and my guests would have a relaxing day...Or rather, they would have a relaxing day, because I had gotten out all of my stressing in the morning.

As a family tradition, we have gone to the Blue Ash Fireworks here in Ohio...Red, White and Blue Ash? Get it...(cue drum and cymbal clash). The plan was leave church, take our (fully stocked) cooler and some fried chicken, board games and other activities and spend the day outside in the nice, comfy grass, watiting to watch the fireworks.

Unfortunately, my curse had other plans...

As we left church, my dad realized that he had locked his keys in the car...ok, no big deal, 45 minutes later, AAA had us on our way. The hubs and I made use of the time and went to the store to fill the cooler, grab some snacks and delicious KFC.

Finally, we arrive at the *new* location for the Blue Ash fireworks and not only can we not bring our cooler in (NOT published on the website!) but the cool, comfy grass is nowhere to be seen, replaced by burning, skin-frying, blacktop parking lot. Add to that the discomfort of ( 3 )diabetics, ( 1) 74 year old grandmother, and a toddler, all without fresh, cold drinks that didn't cost 7 dollars...and you had some seriously uncomfortable people. My hubs, bless him, ran around like a mad man, trying to make everyone as comfortable as possible. (and when I say mad man, the poor guy literally got bruises on his shoulders from carrying everything.)

I sat there, hot, thirsty, and worried about my family, especially my son and grandmother in this heat, and was 30 seconds to tears. My husband had loved this family tradition for years, how can I tell him I wanted to do nothing but go straight back home? My son would really get to see fireworks, how can I take that away from him? My son....my blessing.

As I cooled off mentally and physically, I watched my little guy...playing in some ice and dumping water on his own head. He didn't care! He was there with his people, hanging out and having fun. As the night went on, Gavin did everything possible to make us smile, from eating his bubbles while trying to blow them, to dancing like crazy to the band's music (emphasis on like crazy! coming to a YouTube near you!) and all around being awesome. The night winds came in and cooled us down. The fireworks began. Gavin crawled in my husbands lap to enjoy the show. I watched the two of them, the centers of my world, watching their fireworks together and I thought to myself...this is worth it. This is why I stuck it out today. That little head resting on that big shoulder, with eyes and mouth opened wide as my husband pointed out each big boom...

Halfway through the fireworks show, the comfort of daddy's shoulder coupled with exhaustion took over and Gavin fell comfortably asleep...but that image of my boys staring in wonder will stick with me for a while.

Sometimes we can't plan for everything...sometimes plans fail, even when you have done all you can to succeed. Sometimes you were meant to enjoy something that's off plan. And while Im going to send the city of Blue Ash a very pointed letter about bringing back coolers and grass, I have also learned that a cursed existance can still be a blessed existance. You just have to cool off and look for the good around you.