Last night, we watched fireworks with our friends for the first time in four years. The last time we spent the Fourth together, BubTar was a pudgy little two year old and KayTar was just a tadpole in my tummy, making me endlessly miserable. And I do mean MISERABLE, the child wreaked havoc on my poor little body. That 4th of July weekend was wins the blue ribbon in the category of Most Miserable Three Day Time Period. I was taking both Phenergan and Zofran and STILL my stomach rebelled often and with great passion. I had acid reflux and my intestines were refusing to do their very important civic duty. My bladder decided it could only hold about a teaspoon at a time. It was pure, unadulterated misery. BubTar had a magnificent time, though. He was totally convinced the fireworks were just for him, in that innocent, wide-eyed toddler way. Regardless of how very, very miserable I happened to be, I always remember how pleased he was and I never regret making that weekend trip, because his joy and wonder made it worthwhile.
We haven't gone to see fireworks since, mostly because of KayTar. She was an infant the next year, and then the following year we had just discovered that things weren't exactly right with her. And last year, well, we were still kind of hiding from the episodes, afraid to do too much, to go too far from home, to induce too much excitement, to tempt fate by having fun. This year, finally, in so many ways we seem to have hit our stride, our abnormal sort of life melding into our own version of not-exactly-normal normalcy...we feel free to go and do and be, although we understand that in doing so we're taking the risk of having to rush back home, curtailing everyone's good time, to tend to a very sick KayTar. Sometimes the risk doesn't seem to be worth it and everyone ends up feeling worse than if we hadn't tried at all, like on BubTar's birthday when we had to leave the Children's Museum almost upon arrival, my poor little guy apologizing to his sick sister about things that he has no control over. But sometimes, like yesterday, we go out on Day 73, fully tempting fate, and we end up having a great time and somehow find ourselves in Day 74 without so much as a blip.
Last night as my friend L and I walked KayTar around the park, we laughed about just how terrible that weekend four years ago was and marveled at how that tiny little misery-inducing tadpole had grown and grown, challenging me all the way, and was now standing between us, holding our hands and laughing along with us. That is the beautiful thing about tradition, you can have one foot in the present and one foot in the past, watching them play out side by side. But when I looked down at my little dear, I not only saw the shadows of the last year we all celebrated together, but all those in between. I was reminded again of how having this little KayTar in our lives has irrevocably changed the make up of our family, and changed the way we see the world and move in it. Four years ago, this was just another simple holiday celebration, but yesterday it felt like so much more.
I wrote this yesterday, but forgot to hit "Publish" because I am a genius. And also? Today is Day 75. Hello there, New Record, nice to meet you.