HAPPY FOURTH, everyone! This Independence Day my pride for my country and my love for our ways is more potent than ever. I will wear my red, white and blue with a newfound devotion. All I can think about are children in other countries where getting to a hospital at all, let alone getting to a well-equipped hospital, is impossible. Those mommies love their babies just as much as I do, yet if a disease like cancer befell one of their little ones, the prognosis would always be death. But here, in America, not only was the disease caught quickly, but we will be able to cure it! We live only minutes away from three astonishingly knowledgeable Oncologists having earned their PhD from John Hopkins (Dr. Lobel), Harvard (Dr. Elliot), and University of Michigan (Dr. Mullins)...and I can call them at any hour of the night. I am overwhelmed with blessings for simply being born in this nation of ours. "The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave" is now dripping with thick, new and powerful connotations for me. United States of America, you have made a sappy girl even sappier. Tears at the fireworks will be inevitable! I am madly in love with you.
We celebrated the Fourth of July a day early in Kalamazoo, well, Portage and Schoolcraft. Even though Gideon's numbers are down and his ability to fight infection is at an all-time low, we were able to make it to Schoolcraft's parade! We put a baby pop-up tent in a wagon, nestled Gideon in there with a face mask and towels, and rolled him to a spot where Tom's parents roped off (so that germy people would stay away). Nothing was sweeter than when two fighter jets roared over our heads and Gideon screamed, "AWWWWWWEEEEEESSSSOOOOOMMMMMME!" at the top of his lungs. His eyes caught that Gideon fire and it lasted all afternoon. Yes, I cried. Then, two girls collecting candy next to us started to cough and we were OUT of there. Germs are cousins to sharks, in my opinion. I have no tolerance for them anymore. To think that just a few short weeks ago I encouraged my kids to roll around in the tubes at McDonalds. Ew.
Gideon requested we have a picnic, so we grilled out and had turkey burgers and watermelon in the shade. Gideon and Brody talked up a storm the entire time to one another. They were bringing up all of the cool things they saw and heard at the parade, and my heart could not have been more full. One funny moment was when I asked Brody to eat more of his burger (I don't need to ask Gideon that anymore...Thank you, Steroids) and Brody retorted, "No."
Gideon about dropped his fork and took in a sharp inhale of disgust... "BRODY!" he scolded, "My angel says you ALWAYS listen to MOMMA!" Hahahahaha!
I asked, "Who told your angel that?"
Gideon answered, "GOD! You should listen, Brody..." said in his best mama-sing-song voice of warning. Fall-over-adorable, yes?
Brody ate his burger. Well, half of it. :)
Another moment that was over-the-top precious was when Gideon was starting to get tired and grumpy. I asked him a question, I don't even remember what the question was now, and Gideon barked, "LEAVE ME ALONE, MAMA!" (Where was his angel on that one? Kidding, angel. Don't be mad. I'm on your side.) I must have looked hurt because he said, "I'm sorry, mommy. I just wanna be crabby a minute, okay?" HAHAHAHA! Well, okay then. I know how THAT feels.
After exerting so much of that Gideon spunk and only a fleeting glimpse of the altered Gideon, he was tuckered out. He slept for about three hours and forty five minutes... Which was great, because the NEXT thing we were gearing up for was the fireworks! And yes, Gideon was going to be able to watch!
I was so tempted to bring Lysol and spray it as I pulled Gideon in its wake of bacteria/germ fighting power, but I resisted. That is not even a joke. I really and truly thought about it...especially after the two coughing girls at the parade. (Why do I feel an intense anger towards them? Sheesh. I guess that would be the Mama Bear, huh?)
Tom pulled some strings so that we could park in the handicap lot, and since Brody and Tom got there earlier, we were able to sit in total seclusion by the yellow caution tape. It was magical and perfect. Gideon may have commented more on the "smoke" from the fireworks than the fireworks themselves, but he did adore the "Mickey Mouse fireworks" (three circles...I'm sure you already got that, but just in case). Once we got home, Gideon said, "I wish Papa and Grandma Max was there." I asked him if he remembered watching fireworks in Grand Marais last year and he said, "Yes! We walked through tall weeds to the water!" He remembered the tradition, and we hope that tradition will be lived out again next year... Especially when we celebrate "The Polish Fourth of July" -- that may be better than the real one, in my opinion :).
Have a beautiful holiday, everyone! Our family sure did...