July 06, 2008

Taking A Guilt Trip Down Memory Lane

When I was a kid, the 4th of July was such a fun day. I would spend the day at my grandmother's house playing with all of my cousins and at night we would light some firecrackers and catch lightning bugs. We could play for such a long time--the light of the day lasted until nearly 9pm--which was always so exciting. (How many of us even notice that as an adult?) I still love sitting in the warm summer air and watching the glow of lightening bugs...it's one of the simple joys of life.

I have a lot in my life that brings me such happiness. They're the little things that are difficult to express to someone else. I'm sure we all have things that make us smile or laugh, the you-had-to-be-there kind of inside joy that others don't understand or witness. As I sat here before, Katie came walking in from her room and came over to me. "That's Eeyore!" she said, clear as day, as she plopped an Eeyore stuffed animal on my lap. I looked at her, not realizing she knew his name nor could say it, and felt so proud. She gazed back at me with her huge eyes and just...smiled. She's growing and I'm happy about that. I am thankful she's healthy and smart and that I get to have such a source of joy in my life.

As we drove home from an enjoyable lunch at Fuddruckers today, Dan and I started talking and we recalled that just three years ago, we spent July 4th at Dan's aunt's house with all of his family. (GASP!!) We played games and actually had a good time, even though we ignored and were ignored by his sister. The situation wasn't new. (I guess we were feeling exceptionally friendly that day or something.) Unfortunately, after several hours Dan's father dramatically left the party and I learned later that he claimed that he had to leave because of the family feud. He and others complainted about that day, though in hindsight that was the last day they will ever get with us. Too bad they didn't appreciate what they had when they had it. I wonder if they ever look back on that same day and say, "Damn. I shouldn't have messed it up."


I started singing "Memories" (the Elvis version, the one I heard WAY too many times growing up since my Mom was/is a huge Elvis fan) and we laughed.

"Memorieeeeees...pressed between the pages of my miiiiiind!"

Memory Lane is sometimes a road filled with potholes and ruts, the kind of road you wouldn't want to drive. It's the bad neighborhood that makes you say, "We don't need gas that bad. Let's keep going." Dan says his usually leads to Guiltsville. I have a lot of nice memories from my childhood.

"Memorieeeeees...sweetened through the ages just like wiiiiiiine!"

This past July 4th was fun, although it was cut slightly short because of Katie's fear of fireworks. I can't say I blame her; I never really enjoyed them myself. We spent the day at my grandmother's. Now my cousins and I are older, with jobs and spouses and kids, but I still try to see the simplicity in things.

As we arrived home, our front yard was filled with lightening bugs. I put Katie in her crib, leaving her to dream as I rushed outside. As I caught a glowing bug, I hoped that Katie's life would be as magical as the flashing lights of my childhood.

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