In my family, it’s got slightly more importance to us, simply because of the date the holiday falls upon.
Today, it’s three years.
Three years since Hubby, Dad and I woke at the crack of ugly early to pile into Dad’s van (now ours) and drive six and a half hours to a little Podunk town called Pulaski, VA.
Three years since we buckled three very little girls into carseats, popped a series of VeggieTales and Disney movie DVDs into the van’s player, and drove back to PA.
Three years since I stood in what used to be my dining room, became my toy room, and is now my living room, holding Small Fry in my arms, both of us in tears.
Three years since I felt the least heroic I’ve ever felt.
Three years since Po scared Small Fry.
Three years since Medium and Large Fries tried to crush Po in exuberance.
Three years since our cats decided they hated us for allowing these little invaders.
Three years since baby gates and diapers and sippy cups and high chairs and diaper bags and small toys and pack-n-plays and daily laundry became the norm.
Three years…since we became a family.
One thousand ninety-five days.
There are times it feels like one thousand ninety-five years.
But I am grateful for each and every one of those days. Because I have a family to celebrate them with. It’s a different sort of anniversary. And a very good excuse to eat cupcakes.
To celebrate, we met up with Gramma and Boppa at the local municipal park, where we had a picnic lunch. (Complete with cupcakes.) And after that, we stood in line for nearly an HOUR in 95-degree heat and 80+% humidity to get into the municipal pool (which had inconveniently decided to change their rates, start charging for all children 5 and under—they were free last year—and didn’t have the new rates available online when I checked). Ever since Large Fry’s 5th birthday last summer, the Fries have been addicted to the bigger pool, so that’s where we—and the rest of the borough, it seemed—opted to hang out.
The kids had a marvelous time. We ran into Small Fry’s physical therapist from the first year the Fries were with us, who could not believe how big the girls had gotten and was thrilled to hear that we had finally won custody. (It was nice to catch up with her.) She could hardly believe that Small Fry now was the same (formerly) timid, cautious little toddler she’d worked with.
I apparently need SPF Bulletproof sunblock, because the SPF 50, despite reapplication, still left me rather rosy. (Okay, okay…a lot rosy.) The Fries, with their lovely shades of melanin, suffered much less, and came home sporting tan lines. Which, after three years, are still as comical to me as they were that first summer. Medium, having the lightest skin tone of the three, has some pink spots high on her cheeks, but in a few days, those will have faded to a nice tan.
|Small Fry. Armed. Look out.|
We adults rotated in and out of the pool, but obviously not in and out enough with enough reapplications of SPF 50 to keep Hubby and me from getting burned. The Fries made friends with a couple of little girls just older than Large Fry, who determined I was their “dolphin” and played and hung out with me more than they did the Fries, after awhile. The water helped disguise my ankle’s crankiness until after I’d hauled the aforementioned seven-year-olds around the shallow pool for about five minutes, after being jumped on, grabbed, and shoved underwater (the last, gleefully done by Medium Fry…repeatedly).
We finally left about 5:30ish, and came back home. We ordered pizza, ate it on the porch, and Hubby set up the globe sprinkler that Mom had found for us at The Christmas Tree Shop.
Mom and Dad headed for home after pizza, as the kids started in on the sprinkler fun.
It was a great day.
I have a great family.
I am grateful…for so very much.