Sunday, July 5, 2009

Gavin's first Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is always a holiday I look forward to. Landon loves it, and it's a full day of fun, with the evening being the best. We always gather at my aunts for a potluck style kinda day. There's about 30 of us in and out throughout the day. The kids running around in their swimsuits, jumping in and out of the pool, the grownups playing volleyball and everyone eating. It's just a fun, relaxing day.

To be honest, I have been anxious the days leading up to this Fourth of July. I didn't really know where the anxiety was coming from, I just was feeling a little 'off' the past couple of days. It hit me, and it hit me like a ton of bricks.

We always go all out, spending a lot more money than we should on these fireworks that cost an arm and a leg. We always say we aren't going to spend as much next year, but we always do. We do, because the kids love it and we love seeing their faces and hearing the excitement when we announce each firework. We are a little dorky like that and I love that we have always done that. Everyone who walks into my aunts house, always gets a kick to our growing stash of fireworks, we love to see them all sprawled out in the living room, and the kids like to go through and count how many we have. It's a very exciting process for them, and its a full day of anticipation as we all wait for dusk.

When it was time to move the party to the front yard for the big finale to our Fourth of July, I started to feel the sadness set in. My heart grew heavy, and an overwhelming just sadness hit me as I held Gavin and made our way out to our chair. My mother in law held him for a little bit, and I sat still next to her as we watched. I wiped tears as each beautiful color flashed before me, and sparks lit up the night. I watched my oldest so joyful and his eyes lit up with every new firework that his daddy lit. All the little kids lined the sidewalk for an upclose look of the pretty fireworks in front of them on dislpay. Me and Gavin stayed in the back, him wrapped in a blanket and me wiping the tears that I could not control. I didn't allow anyone to see me cry, as I did not want anyone to feel awkward or feel bad for me.

It's these time that people talk about, when just ...hits

These moments will be with me for the rest of my life. It is part of our lives now, and it hits me uncontrollably at times when I just got to let the waterworks go. I could be at the store, driving, or on this day, a holiday. I have learned to better manage, but I don't ever think that deep, sadness will ever be gone. I don't expect it to be.

Gavin ultimately fell asleep in my mother in laws arms. Up until then, he enjoyed the fireworks by listening to them, and I walked him up at one point towards the end and had him get a whiff of the smell I love so much. I tried my best to describe in detail what each color was, and the brightness of it. He stayed in my arms so intently listening. He didn't cry, he didn't get scared, he just listened. I explained the colors and what his daddy was doing, and when he lit it, and when he would expect to hear the loud crack of the fireworks. There were illegal ones going off all around us, and I continued to tell him what was going on behind us, to the side and in front. He listened to it all, and at points laughed.

I hope I did it justice.


  1. God Bless you & your family, Jenn. My 4th was different this year, thanks to your son and your family sharing his story. I thought of you guys throughout the night as we watched the fireworks display at the high school.

    I appreciated this year much more because of Gavin. I will always be thankful for him because it has changed my view on many things.
    xxoo ~ nicci

  2. Oh Jen...what a touching story. I got teary eyed just reading this. You are such a great mom to Gavin and to Landon. Gavin will be able to see all these wonderful things through you.

  3. Oh I'm sure it did much justice in his "sight". I'm sure he loved having mommy there talking to him and explaining to him. I know he sees more than any of us can see. You're a wonderful mommy and let those tears come. God knew what he was doing when he made tears. He knew we needed to release that emotion in some way. Huggs.

  4. Hey Jennifer....btw, wow girl you are one hell of a writer....after reading this I was really touched. I had recently asked Dillon what he would miss the most if he was blind (and 1st of all I had to explain to him what that meant) and he mentioned things like his food, me, our dogs, TV. he asked me and alls I could think of was watching him play ball and playing in the water at the river. But after reading this I think the fireworks would be something I would miss extremely. This past weekend Dillon and I had so much fun watching the fireworks, it is something we def take for granted. Thanks for the insight.....

  5. Thank you for the comments everyone. I've received so many emails expressing missing 'fireworks'. I love them, and think that's why this was a sad, but happy day for me. ;)


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