I have a baby now! I have a little family! That means I can begin to pass down fun holiday traditions to my little man, like dressing in ridiculous patterns of red, white, and blue on the Fourth of July!
But, in the mid morning hours of this year’s Fourth, I began to feel like the rest of the world was on snooze mode or something. I wasn’t positive what was going on, but it felt like no one was as excited about this celebration as I was – not even my sister, who lives close by and typically loves holiday traditions. Maybe it was something I was putting out there, but it seemed like no one really cared that I want to be all fun & holiday-y.
This is an ongoing trend that I’ve noticed since having my baby… My world seems suddenly so much more important, my everyday actions, more impactful – to me. I want experiences to matter, and I want them to matter to other people just as much. But oddly, no one else seems to care.
I was fully prepared for an incredibly fun, joyous, memorable holiday this year! I had the coordinated digs, the accessories, the location. Everything was in place for maximum fun-sposure. But the neighbors we had coordinated with didn’t come outside when planned. Since we’re new to the neighborhood, I felt dumb knocking on doors and sending threatening text messages (in a fun way) telling people to get their butts outside and have fun with me.
My sister didn’t come over when she said she would. Since the neighbors weren’t out yet, and it was about to be bubs’ nap time, I felt dumb calling 8 more times to reprimand sister dearest for being late and to insist that she drop everything she was doing to hightail it over to my place immediately! But I wanted to! Didn’t she know; didn’t they ALL know that this was my baby’s FIRST FOURTH OF JULY!?!?!
Why did no one care? I cared so much.
That’s when I started to take it personally. I’m not proud but, staring into my little bubs’ eyes, watching him marvel at festive pinwheels whirling in the wind, I realized no one else in the world loved him like his Dada and I did, and that understanding made me really, really sad. I tagged Dad in and excused myself to the bathroom, I sat down to pee, and I straight-up sobbed on the toilet. My shoulders heaved, my chest constricted, my squishy mama tummy shook – I was on the edge of hysterics.
HOW could this be? How could it be that no one I knew cared about me enough to care about my boy in the way he ought to be cared for?
Oh, it was heartbreaking.
Hubs heard me crying. He softly rapped on the bathroom door, and when I emerged with tear-stained cheeks he hugged me warmly. I told him what was wrong, and he looked at me with empathy. Those are hard things to feel on a happy day, he said.
YES. They are. He got it, like he always gets it. Man, that felt good.
Just then my sister and all of her clan burst through the door, full of merriment and Americana and love. I watched as my sister scooped my precious little boy up into her arms, cooing and zerbering and nuzzling him close. His chubby little hands swiped her glasses before she could think twice. I laughed at the joy of it all; I laughed at the love. Because, yes, though she was a little later than expected, the love was certainly there.
We went outside, where the neighbors had begun to set up. We were greeted with smiles and food and drinks. We played volleyball. We picnicked. We laughed a lot. The more we enjoyed ourselves, the more I realized the traumatic emotions from the early part of my day were self-imposed. And finally, as I sat watching fireworks among friends and loved ones, I realized just how much I had to celebrate.