Friday, July 24, 2015

Love Letters

Just a few hours before you broke your ankle...

Dear Em,

"You're a grand old flag. You're a high flying flag & forever in peace may you wave. You're the emblem of the land I love, the home of the free & the brave."
- You're a Grand Old Flag, a song that you learned in PreK, this year, & have been happily singing ever since

Almost a month later...I'm recapping our fun & impromptu Independence Day. It was the holiday weekend that didn't go at all as planned, but was still a blast. It was also the weekend you broke your ankle.

Our celebrating started on July 3rd. The whole Haeussler family was visiting from Ohio. We packed everyone into 2 cars & headed up to Pawtucket to catch a Pawtucket RedSox game followed by fireworks. I had bought the tickets months in advance. We had nearly front row seats, & I was excited for Trey & Dane to see their very first fireworks. We happily took a picture, our two families together with the giant Paws standing outside of the stadium.

Except that apparently I accidentally bought front row seats for July 2nd. Major fail!! The guy scanning our tickets was super nice. He had three standing room tickets for the July 3rd game he was willing to give us & encouraged us to see about getting standing room tickets for the rest of our group (it was practically a sold out game).

I couldn't believe I had made such a dumb mistake, & I left it up to the Haeusslers. We could purchase standing room tickets & see how we fare with three small children in tow, or we could head back home & make our own fun in the backyard. Worried about possible rain the next day, we all decided to make the most of the clear skies we had & opted for fun in the backyard. So, 10 minutes after we arrived in Pawtucket, we headed back home.

The look on poor Trey's face broke my heart. "You mean, we're not going to get to see the baseball game?" The look on his face was so innocent & solemn. We brightened his spirits by checking out a firetruck (it was his favorite number...3!). Nonnie, you, Trey, & I loaded into my car. We stopped at Walmart on the way home. I put you & Trey in the cart, & we literally flew down aisles, grabbing candy & ice cream & fireworks as we did. You & Trey giggled & yelled "faster!" the whole way.

By the time we got home, Daddy had already gotten the fire pit going. You kids ate ice cream & candy & roasted s'mores. Then Daddy put on the best Rhode Island backyard firework show that could be bought from Walmart. You & Trey sat together & watched the show together, & in between fireworks, the two of you ran around with sparklers (it was one of the cutest things I've ever seen).

"Thanks, Auntie Julie, for saving the day," Trey yelled excitedly with s'more & ice cream residue all over his sweet face. You kids went to bed LATE & happy...& I felt a little bit better about buying tickets for the wrong baseball game. We had a pretty perfect night.

I woke up the next morning to find our Independence Day wasn't going to be rainy & dreary like the forecasters had predicted. We had planned to go to a parade early that morning but thought it might be wiser to let you kids sleep after the late night you had had the night before. Instead, we had a leisurely morning- well, as leisurely a morning as you can have with three small & loud (but totally amazing) kids running around. Aunt Jayme french braided our hair, with colorful red, white, & blue streamers.

We headed outside in the afternoon for BBQing & backyard fun. I had picked up some festive hats & pompoms from the grocery store. Although they were pretty clearly 4th of July hats, you & Trey called them your cowboy hats & ran around saying things like "howdy partner" & "how're you doing, mam."

Since we didn't wake up early enough to join the parade that morning, we decided to walk around the neighborhood & make our own parade. When none of our Independence Day plans work out, we just make new fun plans. Your best friend, Savanna, joined us. You & Savanna sang You're a Grand Old Flag most of the way. After walking halfway around the neighborhood, Trey asked Nonnie when we would get to the parade. When Nonnie informed him this was the parade, he jumped out of the wagon- big smiles & flag waving- & yelled "Happy 4th of July" for the rest of our "parade." It was pretty cute & really hilarious.

We ended the night in the backyard with more fire pit, fireworks, & sparklers. 

Except that at some point, you became miserable. You had a flurry of fun around you, & you were whining & crying. Exasperated (& not realizing you had broken your ankle earlier), I shouted. "You are surrounded by fireworks & sparklers & your friends. Why can't you just be happy?! That's it. You're going to bed!" Sigh. And that's how our Independence Day celebrations came to an end. Almost nothing worked out exactly the way I had planned for it to, but it was amazing all the same (except for the broken ankle) mostly because of the precious moments we got to share with some of our favorite people.

Let's make a pact. Next year, you try really hard not to break any bones, & I'll try not to end our fun weekend of celebrating by yelling at you & putting you to bed...also, I will try to buy our PawSox tickets for the right day. Deal?

I love you so,

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