Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Our Independence Day

On Saturday, I took all three kiddos out to an Independence Day Celebration on post. I was a bit anxious initially, just thinking about having them all out, its hot, trying to stay up late for fireworks, trying manage all the feeding and diaper changing and constant intake of Gatorade all my myself. I knew the day would succeed or fail based completely on their attitudes and dispositions.

Luckily for me, on this particular day all attitudes were positive and all dispositions remained agreeable in spite of an unexpected and quite violent rainstorm.

We got there around 345 and had only been there about ten minutes. The boys had gone on approximately three inflatables, when a Dad standing near me looked up and foolishly said "I think its going to rain." I told him "No, no, we don't say that word on days like this." But it was too late. Big fat raindrops began falling on our heads. He had jinxed us. I collected the kids and we started walking towards a tent for some shelter. The rain started to pick up, and we were kinda wet before we even made it to the tent. This was a car salesman tent, they had two big rows of cars lined up that I guess they were tryign to sell or something. Anyways, the boys sat down and I told them I was certain it would pass in a minute. Here they are.

And heres Hannah proclaiming "Rain? Rain?"

About 60 seconds after I took that photo the wind suddenly picked up, and the rain began blowing under the tent that was covering us. Everyone huddled in the center, and the rain was just pelting us. And then the tent began to blow away. Literally the poles were shifting off the ground and the guys around the edges grabbed ahold and were trying to hold it down. The rain is literally coming at us sideways now, and Jude starts screaming "We're going to DIE!! We're going to DIEEEEE!!" I assured him that we were not, that it was just wind and rain, but I admit I was getting a bit scared. We were in the middle of a huge field, there was no where to go for cover. Eden was totally calm, but Hannah was screaming at the rain coming straight on to her face. At this point the car salesman says that anyone with babies can come with him and hop in a car, to at least get out of the rain. So a bunch of us run out in to the rain after him, and hes piling people in to these big vans. Mind you, these are cars hes hoping to sell and we are now dripping wet and muddy. But, out of the rain because of his kindness. Right after we got inside, the tent next to ours went down and the tables and chairs started blowing around, knocking people over. The "rock wall" set up in the middle of the field blew over. It got crazy for about 2 more minutes and I was beginning to wonder if perhaps being in a vehicle was a bad decision if we were going to experience a tornado. And then....it stopped. All of it, completely. The rain, the wind, gone. The sun broke out and we could hear thunder rolling past us. So very, very bizarre. We all climbed out,stunned, and went to find our stroller. Eden said "Wow....that was weird." And Jude said "I'm so glad we didn't die." And I took this photo of my three sopping wet kiddos.

Despite all of that, when I asked the kids "What do you want to do now? Should we just go home?" I got a resounding "NO! We want to STAY!" I told them we would wait 15 minutes and see if they were setting the rides and booths back up, which they did. We sat and ate a funnel cake. The party went on. And we stayed ALLLLLLLLLLLL day. Heres the boys on the inflatables.

There were also some cool Army vehicles for the kids to climb in and mess around with, practically mandatory at such functions as this one.

At one point we had to stop mid-stride for the National Anthem. Here are my young patriots.

Eventually after much playtime we chose a spot near the big stage, where there had been live music going on all day. We ate some hamburgers and hot dogs, and blew bubbles while we waited for the sun to set and the fireworks to begin. We also saw a cool karate demonstration, which the boys totally enjoyed.

It turns out the main event on the stage was a group called The Commodors. According to the people around me I was a complete idiot for not knowing who this group was until they clued me in that they sing "Shes a Brick....House!" Ah ha! I know that song, its on the Shrek soundtrack! (Mom of three kids, in case you couldn't tell before now, thats how I know music. Animated movie soundtracks.) The performance was really good, people were singing and shouting and dancing. Jude got REALLY in to it.

Then finally, around 1100, the fireworks started. The kids had all been wonderful, patient and well behaved, even little bitty Hannah stayed awake the whole time! She was impressed by the fireworks. She watched them from over my shoulder and would say "That?? That?!?" And I would say "Fireworks!" And she would say "Right!! Right!!"

All in all, a wonderful day. On our walk back to the car Jude said "That was the best day ever. Well,.....The best day ever so FAR." And Eden agreed, saying "Wouldn't it be cool if we could just do it again tomorrow?" By the time we got home and in to bed it was past midnight, everyone was beyond tired, but there was still this feeling of peace, happiness, and togetherness that comes with making such awesome memories. It was a treasurable day.