My husband and I are firm believers in tradition. On holidays we feel it is important to carry on our favorite traditions. The ones that we grew up with and to add some of our own. This year was tough. July arrived before we had even realized that June was over and we didn't adequately plan for the holiday. As far as new traditions go, we spent the day before the 4th with some wonderful friends. They started their annual 4th of July cook-out last year. This year's cook out was complete with lots of great food, conversations, horseshoes, and fireworks. This year the firework show they put on was amazing and all the kids were wowed!!
Because of our lack in planning the day, we didn't spend time with Joe's family at the 4th of July parade. Instead I found myself getting up early to stake out our place along the parade route. I think I did ok for a beginner. Following the parade I took a much needed nap before we headed over to Aunt Rose's. 4th of July cook-out's at Aunt Rose's are a tradition that I have looked forward to since I was a baby. In fact it's such a loved tradition, that the year Aunt Rose's grand-daughter was born on July 3rd, she drove back 2.5 hours to make sure the party continued!! We decided to try something new this year though. So we went to see Pittsfield's pro baseball team play. It proved to be slightly frustrating and I'm not entirely sure that we would go again. But we wanted to kids to have fabulous memories of this 4th of July.
Last night Aidan laid in bed with me before falling asleep. He recalled the day and how much fun he had. As he sleepily talked to me about his fear of large crowds breaking into fights, he asked me what the scariest moment of my life had been. I easily answered that question. The moment I was in labor and the doctor's rushed me in for a c-section due to your heart rate dropping.
Aidan laughed and asked, "was I ok?"
"Better then Ok, I answered, you were perfect!"
"Ok Mommy", Aidan asked, "when were you the saddest?"
I explained to him how sad I was when my Papa died.
Aidan looked at me in a very understanding and loving way.
"I have a question for you now, I said. What is your happiest memory?"
Aidan closed his eyes for a moment. I had initially thought he fell asleep until he opened them and I realized he was deep in thought. He began to answer the question and then paused for a moment.
"Well, he started off saying, I have too many happy memories to pick just one." I smiled a content smile and hugged him tight. "Me too Aidan, me too."
It always amazes me how much you can learn from a child. How much they can help you become a better person. And I realized in that moment last night that no matter the amount of planning that goes into making something a perfect day, kids just want to be loved. They want to be surrounded by the people that love them most and make them feel happy. Those are the days that will make up their happiest memories. Well that and ice cream and fireworks!!