Freedom is never dear at any price. It is the breath of life. What would a man not pay for living? – Mahatma Gandhi
To me, summer holidays have always been the most fun. My daughter was born on Christmas morning, so of course that holiday will always have that extra bit of special to it, and the family and food that go along with Thanksgiving are great… But 4th of July weekend, as well as Memorial and Labor Day weekends, have always been more about me and I what I want to be doing, and less about obligations that go along with the more “serious” holidays the year brings us.
This holiday weekend was about friends and children, food and fun, festivities and the deepest of relaxations.
This weekend brought me my first (of many!) homemade Mojitos, drinking out in Alisha’s new fenced in backyard, watching the sun go down over the rooftops and listening to the neighbors cause their ruckus from a considerate distance. This weekend had me conversing with friends that I see rarely – the 4th of July picnic at the Harvey’s house has been ingrained in my life now as a five year long tradition. Elise was not yet a year old when I first brought her to the Harvey’s picnic, casted in hot pink plaster from hip to toe, and in the years following it became a running joke about how dirty Elise will get in their tiny yard, which you think wouldn’t have the potential for so much muddy disaster.
This year, Elise kept herself relatively clean.
After sweating it out at the Harvey’s, we retreated back to Alisha’s yard where I set up a new sprinkler for the girls to play in. The girls. Oh, the girls.
I waited YEARS to share motherhood with Alisha, and this weekend it really hit home for me. We’re not just taking care of babies, here. We’ve got kids on our hands. Little people who may or may not grow up to be just like us (got help them) (and us), little people who have their own distinct personalities and quirks, and for the first time ever they are getting along.
Elise was always a bit wary of Adeline. She could tell from the day Addie was born that I was enamoured of this new little baby in our lives, and Elise’s jealousy did not go unnoticed. For months I have had to remind her to be gentle, to be nice, to realize that Addie is just a little baby and she doesn’t understand that it hurts when she pulls your hair, or that she needs to share with you – sharing, for babies, is hardly a concept, right?
These girls played in the sprinkler together. They shared a bowl of cereal together. And then they did something that I wish like hell I had captured on video, because the memory of those few minutes – I can only hope they will stay this freshly burned into my brain.
They played tag.
Have you ever seen a five and a half year old and an almost one year old play an actual game of tag? Where they take turns chasing each other around a house? Where the older one finally undestands she has an advantage, and lets the younger catch her, just to make it fair?
We have the freedom to make choices in our lives – it’s a gift that cannot be said for far too many people in this world.
Lately, I’ve been so surprised to find that I’ve finally been choosing right.