Confession. Holidays always make me a tad blue. I get excited and caught up with all the possibilities. I let the commercialism and the perfectly staged interactions swarm around in my head. I envision family and friends and smiley people having fun and being together. Norman Rockwell-esque. But the reality of it all is it's never really like that. The reality is the people I love are spread out far and wide. The reality is not as much Norman Rockwell as it is Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion.
I woke up yesterday, July 4th, knowing we had nothing planned. No holiday hoopla. I went to an early morning yoga class. And, I dropped my five pound pooch off for a grooming appointment. (Those were the only two things I had planned for Independence day.) The rest of the day was up in the air. I decided to set my expectations very low. Read: none. And, vowed as long as the four people I call my own were together, even if were together on the couch, then that was enough.
Slowly the day developed into buying some smoke bombs and sparklers at the fireworks stand which made my almost 13 year old happy. Eating pizza and ice cream which made my 11 year old happy. And, dancing in front of the stage of a live band which made my 8 year old happy. We then settled down on a hillside with a group people (I like to call the "good ones") to watch our community fireworks display. Afterwards we walked through hoards of people to a neighbors' house to make s'mores and light flying paper lanterns. Which proved to be more magical than I anticipated. We closed the evening by catching a ride home, because we had walked to the community commons for the festivities, and making shapes in the dark with eight boxes of sparklers before bed.
So here's the truth. I went to bed on July 3rd feeling a little down. I was anticipating grief and allowing it to win. I came face to face with some uncomfortable-ness much like Romy and Michelle at their High School reunion and I felt the ping stab me between the eyeballs. But, around 12:23 am that night .....er very early this morning, I realized the smoke bombs, the ice cream, the dancing, the awesome fireworks display, the s'mores, the flying paper lanterns, the sparklers....these are the moments Norman Rockwell would have painted. The little moments of nothing special but pure and simple sweetness.