My Independence Day

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I’ve been thinking about writing this post since the 4th. It was going to detail how much Independence Day has differed this year from other years. How I never got to choose what we did and this year I was able to take my kids to see a fireworks show instead of buying fireworks and setting them off in the yard. How I got to take them to see a parade instead of staying at home because my husband never wanted to go to parades. How I got to take them to go cherry picking and I climbed a ladder with my son in a carrier on my back and didn’t fear being reprimanded for it.

But I’ve decided I’m done living in the past. I’m done comparing my life now to how it was while I was with my husband. It’s helpful to have a basis for comparison, but that’s not what makes my life worth living right now.

What makes my life worth living right now is that I took my kids cherry picking, I allowed my daughter to climb a ladder and pick cherries from a tree, I weighed the risks and chose to climb a ladder with my son on my back so that I could participate in picking cherries. And my kids loved it. My son held a branch while I picked cherries, my daughter climbed a tree, put cherries into a bucket, ate ripe cherries, and got cherry juice on her forehead and I joked that it was like “ash Wednesday” but with cherry juice instead of ashes.

I took my kids to see a large fireworks show at 10:00pm (way past their bedtime). I let my daughter run around on the grass before the fireworks went off. I watched my son stare in amazement at the bright, loud lights in the sky. I ate cherries and laughed and truly enjoyed myself.

I took my kids to a parade. I carried my son on my back and let him play with a beaded necklace and wave a flag. I let my daughter pick up candy from the street and talked to the parents next to me.

I had a good Independence Day weekend. I made the plans and I kept them. The plans were not made for me. I laughed, made silly jokes, took pictures, and made calculated risks without fear of judgement or ridicule. I felt carefree and not tied to some timeline or already planned activity.

Sometimes I wonder if it would have been better to stay. Days like these convince me otherwise.

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