The Evolution of the Fourth

The Fourth of July holiday has always been special to me. Growing up, we often spent the 4th celebrating America’s independence in the cradle of the Revolution – at either my grandparents’ in Rhode Island or my aunt’s in Massachusetts. Clam boils, tubing, swimming, the Boston Pops, pop-up thunderstorms, cousins, hide and seek, coffee ice cream, red, white and blue, we had it all. And it was good.

As I got older, work, moves, my grandparents’ passing all made these fourths less frequent. I realized today just how different the 4ths of my recent past have been from the 4ths of my youth.
Six years ago this 4th, the hubby and I were in Atlanta from DC to go house hunting before our big move. I spent the morning before meeting with the real estate agent kneeling on the cold tile floor of the Omni Hotel bathroom convinced I was going to hurl at any moment. I was excited about the move. Confident on the outside to the point where I think I was starting to believe it. In the moments before meeting a total stranger who would soon show us possible homes in a city I knew very little about, the reality of uprooting our lives hit me like a ton of bricks.
Somewhere in our agent’s car while looking at houses in neighborhoods as different from each other as Buckhead and Candler Park, I fell in love with this diverse new city of ours. By the end of the weekend, we had a contract on a house and the real fun began.
Four years ago this 4th, I was 8 months pregnant and went to a Braves game with the hubby. What was I thinking? It was hot. I was swollen. It was hot. I couldn’t drink beer. It was hot. There was a huge thunderstorm that sent us scurrying to the sweltering safety of the concourse where no one offered the swollen, sweaty, gigantic pregnant lady a seat. I sat on the ground until it stopped raining enough for us to call it a night and head back to the car in relative dryness, at which point the poor hubby had to hoist me in a very ungraceful way off of the floor. We made it home in time to watch the remainder of the game with my swollen ankles up on the sofa and a gallon of ice cream perched on my belly.
A year ago this Fourth, I was pregnant again and somehow decided that since I was sick with some horrible respiratory thing and not going anywhere anyway that I’d commence potty training boot camp. That weekend was the last time this house saw a diaper until Pumpkin arrived. Gives new meaning to Independence Day, huh?
This year, there are four of us. How appropriate.
When I think of the Fourth of July, I am instantly transported to the 4ths of my youth, yet here I am with significant events marking my adult 4ths. And now, as we move into yet another phase of life, we will begin to formulate memories of the 4th for our children.
It might be time to schedule a clam boil for next year. Guess I better start calling the cousins.

3 thoughts on “The Evolution of the Fourth

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