It was hard for me growing up in a home where holidays were treated just like any other day.
Sure, we had turkey on Thanksgiving and a tree for Christmas, but there was never much fanfare. From a young age, I longed to entertain.
As July 4th apporached, I wished for a house with a huge backyard where we could enjoy a barbecue. There was a backyard that my bedroom overlooked. It belonged to the landlords, who were hardly ever there. I prayed they would have pity on me and allow me to use the yard now and then, but that never happened.
Every summer I was disappointed waiting to see if our family would get an invitation to celebrate the holiday anywhere but our tiny apartment in Queens. I wanted to roast marshmallows while waiting for the night sky to explode with color.
As soon as it grew dark, I would peer out of my bedroom window straining to see fireworks. I could hear stray firecrackers in the distance. Surely, I should be able to see something.
If I angled my head just so, I could make out flashes of red and blue in the distance. Listening to the sounds of the Macy's Fireworks show playing in the background, I didn't leave my post. My mother tried to convince me that it was better to watch the fireworks on television. Obviously, that wasn't true, so I kept my watch out the window.
By the time the show was over, you could see the indentation the screen window left across my forehead, but I was satisfied.
Two years ago today was the day my pregnancy with Linus started going downhill. Blood and fear overshadowed any plans we had for the evening. With instructions to rest from my high risk doctor, the kids agreed to have a movie night as the fireworks blared over our rooftop.
The following day started my three weeks of bedrest.
Linus has always been my little firework. I think he wanted to celebrate the 4th with us that year.
"If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow.
Maybe you're reason why all the doors are closed
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road
Like a lightning bolt, your heart will blow
And when it's time, you'll know."